Several vehicles were photographed in flames in an assault that has been reportedly claimed by a group called The Fako Action Forces
Explosions were reported near the Limbe Omnisport Stadium on Thursday, just two days before the highly-anticipated African Nations Championship (Chan) starts in Cameroon.
Zambia, Tanzania, Guinea and Namibia who are in Group D are expected to play at the Omnisport Stadium, next to where the explosions were reported.
The first game at the stadium was expected to be between Tanzania and Zambia next Tuesday.
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— #TotalCHAN2020 (@CAF_Online) January 9, 2021
Although the attack did not have any fatalities, several cars were in flames and question marks are now directed toward the host nation before the continental competition begins.
The reported terrorist act was claimed by ‘Fako Action Forces’. The explosion reportedly took place on the ‘perimeter’ of the Limbe Stadium, just one of the venues designated to host Chan matches.
Referencing Radio Equinox, Camer Press Agency reported the explosion was caused by a homemade bomb.
The shadow government from the Ambazonia State in Cameroon released the following reminder and warning.
“There will be no Chan 2021 in Fako, and our populations are warned accordingly. There must not be victims. Limbe is dangerous ground,” the interim president of the virtual Republic of Ambazonia Samuel Ikome Sako had written .
Images circulating on social media have also appeared to show evidence of the explosion.
Les séparatistes mettent le feu aux engins disposés devant le 2e terrain d’entraînement de Limbe, en face du Botanic Garden. Selon des sources locales, ils s’agirait d’un avertissement.
Les Ambaboys s’opposent à la tenue du Chan dans les régions anglophones. pic.twitter.com/lMyLBSORes
— Franck FOUTE™ (@FranckFoute) January 14, 2021
Apart from the Group D games, the quarter-finals and semi-finals are expected to be held in the volatile region.
Cameroon’s security department has been battling reported insurgents in the region since 2016. Zambia, Uganda, Cameroon and Niger organised a mini-tournament in the host country between January 1 and 7 ahead of the actual competition. The three visiting nations set up camps since then and are waiting to start their respective Chan campaigns.
Cameroon will start the event by playing Zimbabwe at the Ahmadou-Ahidjo Stadium on January 16.
Apart from the Omnisport Stadium in Limbe, other stadiums that will be used are the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde which will host Group A games. Group B fixtures will be played at Japoma Stadium in Douala while Group C participants will be playing at the Douala Reunification Stadium.