Yaoundé, Cameroon (CNN)Gunmen stormed a school in Cameroon and opened fire over the weekend, killing several children and wounding more.
The attack occurred on Saturday in Kumba, a town in the country's restive Anglophone region, where separatist insurgents operate.
At least seven children have died and 12 were injured in the incident, according to Reuters.
Cameroonian Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute said that nine students had died and condemned a "dastardly act of wickedness."
"I bow before the memory of these innocent kids," he tweeted Sunday. "I urge all Cameroonians to firmly stand against these acts of atrocity. The Republic will not bow to terror."
According to Ntou Ndong Chamberlain, a local administrator in the district where the incident took place, armed men stormed the Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy, a private school where students were attending classes, opening fire on them before escaping.
"We were studying French when we heard three gunshots from outside and the teacher had to escape so we had to bow our heads on the ground and started praying," a student who was at the scene of the incident said. "They started shooting randomly around the school campus before they left. When they had gone, we got up to discover dead bodies and some injured lying on the ground."
Local authorities fear the death toll might increase as most of the injured children are in a critical condition.
Boniface Tamungwa, a pastor in Kumba who arrived the scene of the incident, said his 11-year old was among the children killed.
"I was in the house with my sick wife when a [student] came and started shouting telling me they had shot and killed my son. I went to the school and saw my son dead, he was among the three children who died on the spot," Tamungwa said.
Ongoing separatist violence
No group has claimed responsibility though local authorities have accused separatist fighters of targeting the school. People have been raising awareness of the incident on social media under the hashtag #EndAnglophoneCrisis.
This is in reference to ongoing movements which advocate a separation between English-speaking Cameroon from the French-speaking part of the country. Separatists in Anglophone regions have been fighting with government forces and government-backed militias for several years.