At least nine people were killed and 26 injured after an explosion in northern Cameroun, local authorities have confirmed on Tuesday.
The incident occurred on Monday in Fotokol, a town near the border with Nigeria, when “young men in search of metals’’ stumbled on a homemade bomb before mistakenly detonating it, Regional Governor Midjiyawa Bakari said.
Initially, there were fears that the explosion was linked to the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram which poses a steady threat in Nigeria, but Bakari dismissed this after investigations proved otherwise.
He said a group of people going to a market in Fotokol had all crossed the informal border bridge from Nigeria. The youngsters were attracted by the glint of metal.
“One of them realised the metal was dangerous and wanted to get rid of it, but the device exploded.
Those injured were receiving treatment at a local medical facility,’’ Bakari said.
While active in Nigeria, Boko Haram has also launched offensives in neighbouring Cameroun, Chad, and Niger.
Since 2009, tens of thousands of people have died at the hands of the Sunni fundamentalists in the region and an estimated 2.5 million people fled their homes.
It has not been established who had planted the device or when it had been planted.