LIBERATION FIGHTERS KILL MAYOR IN CAMEROUN

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Separatists in the English-speaking South-West region of Cameroon killed a local mayor in an ambush in which two soldiers were also wounded, the region’s governor said Monday.

Ashu Priestley Ojong, mayor of Mamfe, was killed by “terrorist secessionists” on Sunday morning, Bernard Okalia Bilai said in a statement.

The attack on the mayor’s convoy happened as they were travelling from Mamfe to the nearby village of Eshobi, state broadcaster CRTV said.

They went there after receiving a tip-off that some rebels would be laying down their arms, the report said.

Ojong was elected in February in legislative and municipal polls that the separatist rebels said should be boycotted.

English-speaking separatists in both the North-West and South-West regions of the central African country have been fighting government forces since early 2017.

Rights groups have accused both sides of atrocities in the conflict, which has left more than 3,000 dead, closed schools and clinics and forced 700,000 people to flee their homes.

Cameroon has been ruled with an iron fist for decades by ageing President Paul Biya, whom rights groups accuse of stifling democracy and protests.

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