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Cameroon officer lynched for killing 5-year-old

A mob in Cameroon has lynched a military police officer after he shot a 5-year-old girl dead earlier this week.

That's according to the country's defense ministry on Thursday.

The girl's death sparked major demonstrations across Buea, the capital of Cameroon's English-speaking South West Region.

Protesters there on Thursday marched the girl's body to the regional governor's office, who attempted to calm the crowds and promised swift action.

In a statement, the defense ministry said she was shot in a car after the driver refused to stop at a checkpoint, prompting the military officer to open fire in an attempt to immobilize the vehicle.

A crowd then killed the officer, the ministry said, adding that an investigation has been opened into the two deaths.

Several residents have said the girl's death reflects a larger pattern of heavily militarised security forces harassing local residents.

Secessionist fighters there have been battling government troops for nearly five years, fueled by a perception of marginalization by the country's French-speaking majority.

Over 3,000 people have been killed and nearly a million displaced, with both sides accused of committing atrocities.