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AFRICA
22 March 2011 Last updated at 10:36 ET
Cameroon 'bank robbers' killed in speed-boat chase
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Cameroon country profile
At least 18 people suspected of robbing a bank in Cameroon have been killed in a gun battle as they tried to make a sea-borne escape, officials say.
Two banks were raided in the port town of Douala by gangs who made off in speed boats on Friday night.
But Maj Gen Sali Mohamadou said the security forces caught up with the gang as they approached Nigerian waters.
Gen Mohamadou would not say if any money had been stolen in the raid, or whether any was recovered.
"This is a warning to all, that anyone who dares such an act in Cameroon again will not run away - we will always catch up with them," he told state radio.
A member of the security forces also died in the shootout, he said.
Seven passers-by were killed during the bank raids, witnesses told the BBC.
Two suspected robbers were arrested.
There has been an increase in piracy off the coast of Nigeria and Cameroon in recent years.
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