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
Isaac Asabor263
A year down the line, Nigerians y...

the president should concentrate his efforts on the promises made during the period of his campaign, and ensure that they are fulfilled as promised, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Peregrino Brimah
FG claims untrue: Fuel price can ...

Many desperate Nigerians have been starved throughout the first year of the Buhari administration with the artificial scarcity induced by NNPC. It is for these hopefuls that this analysis is directed, writes Peregrino Brimah. Read more...

Submitted by
Samuel Ufot Ekekere
Udom: Dakaada to where?

It is my hope that in few years Akwa Ibom will be an academic destination of choice, writes Samuel Ufot Ekekere. Read more...

Submitted by
BitsTalk
A letter from the citizens: By an...

Money isn't the power, the people hold the power!, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Norman Chukwuemeka
Economic resentment

I am writing this to awaken the mass to their unawareness of backslide of our economy, meanwhile pushing them to wake from their slumbering state, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
On the frequent rate of divorce a...

With the number of divorces, separations and matrimonial crises that have so far been recorded against some Nigerian celebrities, it is very obvious that they are afraid of being in marital relationships, writes Isaac Asabor. Read more...