YAOUNDE, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- A navy officer was killed by gunmen early Monday at his home in Mokunda, a locality in the Southwest, one of Cameroon's two war-torn English-speaking regions, the military said.
A military source told Xinhua that "several" people were abducted by the gunmen after the murder.
"They were about 15 to 20 of them (gunmen). They came to his house very early this morning and demanded that he should hand over his gun to them and he refused. He was then killed in front of his wife and children," the source, who demanded anonymity, told Xinhua.
Locals interviewed by Xinhua said the gunmen held the neighborhood hostage for about an hour while committing the act.
"They warned us to stay quiet or be killed. All of them were armed. They have released some people that they kidnapped but some are still with them," another local resident, who also asked not to be named, said.
Locals could not identify the gunmen but the army said they were "secessionist terrorists," a referrence to armed separatists.
Clashes between government forces and armed separatists are escalating in Cameron's two anglophone regions of Northwest and Southwest where separatists have declared an independent state called "Ambazonia."
The United Nations estimates that at least 430,000 people have been displaced internally by the conflict.