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Cameroon: 34 soldiers missing as military ship sinks

37 soldiers boarded military supply vessel of Rapid Intervention Battalion on Sunday; 3 rescued so far

Felix Nkambeh Tih   | 17.07.2017
Cameroon: 34 soldiers missing as military ship sinks FILE PHOTO

ANKARA

Cameroonian rescue teams are searching for 34 soldiers who went missing after a military vessel capsized in the country’s southwest region, local media reported on Monday.

The ship left the coastal city of Limbe on Sunday to provide building and basic foodstuffs to the troops of the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) in Bakassi, also in southwest Cameroon near the Nigerian border.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement late Sunday that three soldiers had been rescued out of 37 personnel who were aboard the military vessel and that an investigation of the incident had begun.

''A helicopter was able to spot traces of fuel and thus directed maritime patrols to the likely spot of the capsizing. Three soldiers were rescued but the boat seems to have sunk to the bottom of the waters... Thirty-four personnel have so far been reported missing," said a ministry statement.

The BIR is an anti-terrorist force which protects the country's borders and is mostly involved in the fight against Boko Haram in the northern part of the country.

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