The victims of a stampede outside a stadium hosting an African Cup soccer game in Yaounde, Cameroon. AP
At least eight people died and about 50 were injured in a crush outside a stadium hosting a game at Africa's top soccer tournament in Cameroon on Monday, a local government official said, raising fears over the capacity of the country to stage the continent's biggest sports event.
Crowds attempted to enter through a southern entrance at Olembe stadium in the capital Yaounde to watch the host nation play Comoros.
Although the stadium's capacity of 60,000 has been limited over coronavirus fears, the 60 per cent cap is raised to 80 per cent when Cameroon's Indomitable Lions play.
Naseri Paul Biya, the governor of the central region of Cameroon, said there could be more deaths.
People assist injured victims of a stampede outside a stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon. AP
"We are not in position to give you the total number of casualties,” he said.
The crush happened as crowds struggled to get access to Olembe Stadium in the capital city of Yaounde to watch the host country play Comoros in a last 16 knockout game in the African Cup of Nations.
"Eight deaths were recorded, two women in their thirties, four men in their thirties, one child, one body taken away by the family," according to a preliminary health ministry report obtained by AFP.
The ministry said victims were "immediately transported" in ambulances, but "heavy road traffic slowed down the transport".
Some 50 people were injured in the crush, including two people with multiple injuries and two more with serious head wounds, the ministry said.
A baby was also reportedly trampled by the crowd, the ministry added, although the infant was "immediately extracted and taken to Yaounde General Hospital" and is in a "medically stable" condition.
The unidentified assailants threw a grenade into a group of people inside a camp for displaced people in the commune of Mozogo near the Nigerian border in the Far North region, said mayor Medjeweh Boukar.
Communication Minister Rene Emmanuel Sadi said on Monday in a press release that a separatist commander known as "General Fire Man" was among those killed on Saturday in fighting between rebels and soldiers.
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