Mali Africa Cup Of Nations Training Suspended After Gun Battle Breaks Out – SPORTbible

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Mali had to suspend their training session ahead of their opening game of the Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday, after gun fighting broke out between government forces and rebels.

Forces are said to have stormed into a town in west Cameroon, near the Limbe training base being used by both Mali and Gambia for the tournament.

According to the Cameroon News Agency, via the Daily Mail, the Mali team had to suspend a training session, just hours before they were due to face Tunisia.

Fireworks go off after Cameroon opened the tournament with a win. Image: PA Images
Fireworks go off after Cameroon opened the tournament with a win. Image: PA Images

Premier League stars Yves Bissouma and Moussa Djenepo are amongst those who are in Cameroon with the Mali team.

Two people died during the gunfire government forces and separatists, with five more injured, according to local reports, in an area that has been heavily manned with army checkpoints on the way linto Limbe.

"The Malian team has suspended training and left the Molyko stadium," the Cameroon news agency reported, "Two civilians (men) have been found dead at the Buea Central market following exchanges of gunshots between Ambazonia and government forces."

Separatist poster calling for no games in the west of the country and threatening authorities. Image: Daily Mail
Separatist poster calling for no games in the west of the country and threatening authorities. Image: Daily Mail

Rebels had objected to the hosting of games in the western part of the country and they have already claimed responsibility for the attacks, having previously threatened violence.

Speaking to the Mail, Blaise Chamango, a human rights worker in the area, said, "There were gun shots this morning around the town. We also got information there was an improvised explosive device at the market.

"The [separatist] groups and security forces were fighting in the area.

"The non state groups want to create the impression that nothing should take place in the south west region [of Cameroon during the Afcon]."

Cameroon fans wave at fans after their win. Image: PA Images
Cameroon fans wave at fans after their win. Image: PA Images

The tournament, which was originally supposed to take place last January but was delayed due to Covid, kicked off on Sunday.

The hosts beat Burkina Faso 2-1, with the game starting with an incredibly bad challenge after just 25 seconds, but it's yet to be lit up since.

In nine games, from Sunday to the end of Tuesday, there were just nine goals scored in total, with two 0-0 draws and plenty of 1-0s too.

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