No less than 10 young men have died at a military recruitment in Maroua in the Far North Cameroon, an exercise to select candidates for the country’s elite commando, a French Daily Newspaper said on Thursday.
Mutations quoted several sources as saying that about 70 others were referred to local hospitals following the incident.
The youths who were all between 18 and 23 years old, reportedly incurred varied fractures during “a particularly tough” physical exercise, African Review said.
The Cameroon government had earlier announced the recruitment of 1,800 soldiers this year to raise the capacities of the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) – an elite unit that fights terrorism and high banditry.
The unit has also been saddled with the responsibility to fight against the incursion of the Nigeria’s notorious terror group, the Boko Haram.
Although, this was not the first time such an incident was reported during a military recruitment in the country, however, it was gathered that this year’s recruitment exercise was very difficult.
Among other physical activities, the men were expected to complete a 30km race carrying a 20kg load under a scorching sun.
A total of 4,800 candidates started the recruitment but only 850 successfully went through the first phase, the Mutations tabloid disclosed.
A military official supervising the recruitment admitted to the local newspaper that many of the candidates had illnesses which the tough physical exercise had exposed.
The recruitment ends on February 7.