Yaound - Poachers killed six troops and two guides in a wildlife park in northern Cameroon, Defence Minister Joseph Beti Assomo said on Monday.
"Six members of the defence forces and two civilian guides were killed" on Thursday during a clash with heavily-armed men on horseback in Bouba Ndjida National Park in the north of the country, Beti Assomo said in a statement aired on state radio.
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In 2012, 128 elephants were killed in the Bouba Ndjida park within two months, according to the government. The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) put the figure at 480.
The WWF attributed that massacre to poachers from Sudan and Chad.
Since March 2012, Cameroon has deployed a hundred troops in the wildlife reserve to help deal with the threat from poachers and protect the elephant population for which the park is known.
The eight people killed in Thursday's violence were carrying out a routine patrol, a source said.
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Poaching has killed an estimated 110 000 elephants over the last decade, with transnational organised crime syndicates taking over the illicit trade.
The most recent figures, for 2016, showed the global trade in illegal ivory continues to thrive in light of record seizures despite a decline in poaching.
According to the Great Elephant Census in 2016, the first ever pan-African survey of savanna elephants, numbers are estimated to have fallen to 352 000, down from 1,3 million in 1979.
Suspected poacher left only his head after eaten by lions in SA
A suspected poacher was mauled to death and eaten by a pack of lions close to the Kruger National Park in South Africa, police said on Monday, adding that little was left of the victim's body.
The remains were found at the weekend in the bush at a private game park near Hoedspruit in the northern province of Limpopo, where animals have been poached in increasing numbers over recent years.
"It seems the victim was poaching in the game park when he was attacked and killed by lions. They ate his body, nearly all of it, and just left his head and some remains," Limpopo police spokesman Moatshe Ngoepe told AFP.
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A loaded hunting rifle was found near the body on Saturday morning. Police are trying to establish the victim's identity.
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Last year, several lions were found poisoned near a farm in the same province with their heads and paws sawn off.
Lion body parts are used in traditional medicine.
Poachers also often target rhinoceroses in South Africa's game parks to feed a booming demand for rhino horn in China, Vietnam and other Asian countries, where it is believed to have medicinal qualities.
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