Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.

 

Biya orders urgent rescue of French

20 February 2013, 16:04

Yaounde - Military helicopters are searching for a vacationing French family of seven kidnapped in Cameroon and security around the region is being increased amid tensions over France's role in western Africa.

Cameroonian President Paul Biya ordered tight security measures and urgent steps to free the hostages, who include four children.

They were kidnapped by armed gunmen in the country's far north on Tuesday and whisked across the nearby border to Nigeria. A ministry statement said the Cameroonian government is in contact with Nigerian and French authorities.

Officials suggested the involvement of Boko Haram, one of Nigeria's Islamic extremist sects.

The kidnapping came as thousands of French troops are deeply involved in a military intervention against Islamist extremists who had taken control of a big part of the West African country of Mali.

France's defense minister said Wednesday that there was no proven link between the French operation in Mali and the Cameroon kidnapping.

But, speaking on France-2 television, Jean-Yves Le Drian said: "These are groups who adhere to the same fundamentalism and who have the same methods, whether it is in Mali, in Somalia or in Nigeria, who want to create a lawless zone" stretching from the Atlantic across the southern edge of the Sahara to Sudan.

Abducted at gunpoint

France's government warned French citizens to avoid travel in northern Cameroon after the kidnapping and urged anyone currently there to leave immediately.

A Cameroonian government official said military helicopters were being used in the search.

The French gas group GDF Suez identified the captives as an employee working in the Cameroon capital of Yaounde and his family. French media says the children are between 5 and 12 years old.

Cameroon state television cited government sources in the locality saying that the three adults have been separated from the four children.

The family was on tour at the Waza National Park in Cameroon's Far-North Region before they were abducted at gunpoint by five gunmen aboard motorbikes, according to paramilitary sources in the area.

A Cameroon government statement late Tuesday night said the hostages were abducted at Sabongari, 7km from Dabanga, which flanks Cameroon's frontier with Nigeria. The statement did not say whether the Cameroon government is in contact with the kidnappers.

- AP

NEXT ON NEWS24 NIGERIAX

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
&nbps;

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Martin Beck Nworah
18, 19 or 20 in Anambra State

I shall be waiting for when you will pass me a glass of water and thank God for the gift of grace for the race, writes Martin Beck Nworah. Read more...

Submitted by
Proof of God's existence

There is a recognizable efflux of believers into agnosticism and frank atheism, writes Peregrino Brimah. Read more...

Submitted by
Peregrino Brimah
Black Muslim was actual father of...

Available veritable information in libraries and online unveil a most important record of scientific history and development that is not in the public domain and taught in schools as it should be. Read more...

Submitted by
More than game: Nigeria's lesson ...

In the face of menacing challenges Nigerians now encounter, living on Micawber principle in their fatherland, I believe something good will eventually show up, writes M.T. Omotosho. Read more...

Submitted by
North Nigeria experiences rise in...

The rise in mob religiously mis-inspired killings in north Nigeria cannot be overlooked, writes Peregrino Brimah. Read more...

Submitted by
Mike Daemon
12 lesbian, gay, bisexual and tra...

12 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons have all expressed their wishes on what they want to see, how they want to be treated, and what they want as citizens of Nigeria. Read more...