Cameroon's security forces repel separatists' attack on gov't officials

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YAOUNDE, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Cameroon's government forces on Friday repelled coordinated attacks by armed separatists on government officials in Bamenda, the largest city of the country's restive Anglophone region of Northwest, the army said.

A group of separatists attempted to infiltrate a hotel in the city where senior government officials were lodged, but were repelled by troops deployed to the area, according to local authorities.

"Some of the secessionist terrorists escaped with serious injuries," an army officer told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Minister of Territorial Administration Paul Atanga Nji also stayed in the hotel, the officer said.

The minister was on an official visit to the region to reiterate calls for the separatists to surrender so as to deradicalized and reintegrated into society.

Separatists in Cameroon's two English-speaking regions, Northwest and Southwest, have been fighting government forces in an effort to establish a separate state. The rest of about 80 percent of the country is French-speaking.

Cameroonian President Paul Biya has called for a national dialogue by the end of September to end the separatist crisis and facilitate a "return to normal life" in the troubled regions. Enditem

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