Rioters clash with police in Cameroon for sixth day

Story highlights

  • Police are battling to keep the unrest from spreading across Douala
  • Rioting began New Year's Eve, when a man was fatally stabbed
  • Dozens of people have been taken to hospitals
Clashes between residents of the Deido neighborhood and security officials in Cameroon's economic capital of Douala entered a sixth day Thursday as police battled to prevent the violence from spreading citywide.
Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons to disperse rioters after at least two people died Tuesday in fighting sparked by the suspected murder of a man on New Year's Eve.
The stabbing of a resident by a commercial motorcycle rider eventually triggered attacks on commercial riders by angry youths, government officials told reporters.
Dozens of people were taken to hospitals with injuries, including fractures and burns, suffered in the fighting. The clashes diminished as rioters turned their attention to police and soldiers.
Speaking Thursday evening on state TV and radio, Communication Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakary said the residents were violating the law and called for calm. He acknowledged that Douala has always been a "melting pot" of uprisings in Cameroon.
In 2008, Douala residents began a deadly nationwide uprising against increases in food prices and elimination of term limits by President Paul Biya, who has been in power for 30 years. Government officials said 40 people died in the unrest in Douala.