A Camair-Co aircraft was shot down during its landing yesterday in Bamenda, in western Cameroon in the grip of unrest. No one was hurt.
The Camair-CO Xian MA60 ( a turboprop-powered airliner produced by China’s Xi’an Aircraft Industrial Corporation ), making the QC272 flight from Douala, was preparing to land on December 1, 2019, around 10:40 am at Bamenda-Bafut airport when it was targeted by an unknown number of people… The aircraft was hit repeatedly but was able to land without further problems. None of the passengers or crew were injured by the firing, with at least one impact visible in the cabin.
A Camair-Co statement said the TJ-QDB aircraft, « thanks to the Commander’s bravery, » landed smoothly « despite the impact on the landscape. » The aircraft was immobilized to carry out the impact assessment « together with the relevant technical authorities ». Camair-Co’s flight program has been redesigned to limit any disruption that may result.
Ce dimanche matin à Bamenda, des passagers de Camair-Co affirment que leur avion a été pris pour cible par des tireurs non encore identifiés.
Pas de blessés. 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/ebhicuskDZ
— Lucien Bodo (@lucienbodo) December 1, 2019
The English-speaking West of Cameroon is the object of a rebellion aimed at establishing an independent state, Ambazonia, which has already claimed more than 1,800 dead and 500,000 displaced since 2016 according to the United Nations. One of its leaders, Cho Ayaba, claimed responsibility for firing, telling Reuters that commercial aircraft were used to transport soldiers and weapons to the area. And he warned the airline that new actions will target it « if it does not provide flight schedules in advance »; « It’s war, » he added.
Camair-Co inaugurated its flights to Bamenda in July 2017.
Des tirs contre un avion de Camair-Co ce dimanche matin à Bamenda. Aucune perte en vies humaines. pic.twitter.com/zZjsy2LV0o
— CRTVweb (@CRTV_web) December 1, 2019