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At least 15 people died Sunday in a landslide on a hillside where a crowd was attending a funeral in a popular neighborhood of Yaounde, the Cameroonian capital, the governor of the region told AFP.

"We are now at 15 dead," Naseri Paul Bea, the governor of the Centre region, told AFP on Monday morning, some time after a dozen firefighters began digging with shovels on an imposing pile of red earth at the foot of the hill in the working-class Damas neighbourhood in the east of Yaoundé, according to an AFP correspondent on the spot.

Around them, a hundred residents and onlookers were kept at a distance by police.



Bea had announced a few hours after the tragedy on state radio CRTV that 11 people had died but that the search was continuing for other possible victims.

Early Sunday evening, police pick-up trucks were taking away bodies covered by white sheets, an AFP correspondent at the scene reported.

Emergency services were trying to make their way to the site, as hundreds of local people frantically searched for loved ones. Some people in the crowd wept as emergency workers searched.

Residents told AFP that several families had gathered under large tents on waste ground at the top of a hill, when part of the ground beneath them gave way.

An AFP correspondent saw four large white tents at the hill's summit, on the edge of what seemed to be a ridge, beyond which the ground had disappeared.