Cameroon acknowledged on Tuesday that militants acting with three soldiers had killed 13 civilians including 10 children in an English-speaking region in the west of the country in February.
The government previously denied any role in the massacre in the region, where English-speaking separatists have been fighting government forces for two years.
According to the United Nations, the death toll in the massacre of the night of February 13 left 23 civilians dead, including 15 children in the village of Ntumbo.
He said nine of the children were under the age of five and two of the victims were pregnant women.
In a statement read on state radio on Tuesday, the president’s office said three soldiers and a vigilante group broke into a separatist base, killing five, before “discovering that three women and 10 children were killed. been killed “during the shooting.
“Overcome by panic, the three soldiers helped by some members of the vigilante group tried to hide the incident by setting fire to it,” the statement said.
The military first claimed that the dead were an accident after fuel supplies exploded in flames during a shootout with separatists.
Rights groups have accused both parties of atrocities in the conflict, which has claimed more than 3,000 lives, closed schools and clinics and forced 700,000 people to flee their homes.