Kidnapped children released in Cameroon, two teachers held

Schoolkids and school officials were kidnapped in Bamenda, Cameroon, as parents awaited for news. (Reuters)
Updated 07 November 2018

Kidnapped children released in Cameroon, two teachers held

  • A principal and one teacher are still being held by the armed men that took them
  • The kidnapping took place on Wednesday in southwest Cameroon

BAMENDA, Cameroon, Nov 7 : All 79 children and a driver kidnapped in west Cameroon were free on Wednesday, but a principal and one teacher are still being held by the armed men that took them, a priest conducting negotiations said.
The group was abducted on Monday in Bamenda, a commercial hub of Cameroon’s restive English-speaking region, according to military and government sources.
“Praise God 78 children and the driver have been released. The principal and one teacher are still with the kidnappers. Let us keep praying,” Samuel Fonki, a minister of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, said.
One other child had escaped earlier, he added.
The priest did not say precisely when the children were freed, or whether any deal had been made with the kidnappers. He had earlier said another 11 school children were kidnapped by the same armed group on Oct. 31, then released after the school paid a ransom of 2.5 million CFA francs ($4,400).
Fonki and the Cameroonian military have accused anglophone separatists of carrying out the kidnappings, but a separatist spokesman denied involvement.
The secessionists have imposed curfews and closed schools as part of their protest against Biya’s French-speaking government and its perceived marginalization of the English-speaking minority.
Cameroon’s separatist movement turned violent in 2017 after a government crackdown on initially peaceful demonstrations by English-speakers. The linguistic divide is a legacy of a former German colony in central Africa that was divided between allies France and Britain at the end of World War One.
The attack on children, which recalled the 2014 abduction of more than 200 girls by Islamist Militant group Boko Haram in Chibok in neighboring Nigeria, was criticized by human rights groups.


Two dead in knife attack in French church, official says terrorism suspected

Updated 6 min 2 sec ago

Two dead in knife attack in French church, official says terrorism suspected

PARIS: French police say two people have been killed and several others injured in a knife attack near a church in the Mediterranean city of Nice.
The assailant was arrested after the Thursday morning attack and taken to a nearby hospital after being injured during his arrest, a police offical said. He was believed to be acting alone, the official said. She was not authorized to be publicly named.

 

Video footage shows police entering the church in Nice where the attack is thought to have been carried out. (Twitter)

A police source told Reuters a woman was decapitated, French politician Marine Le Pen also spoke of a decapitation having occurred in the attack. However, Arab News cannot independently confirm these reports. 

There have been unconfirmed reports that at least one of the victims was decapitated. (Twitter)
The reason for the attack is unclear. It comes as France is under high alert for terrorist attacks.
The lower house of parliament suspended a debate on new virus restrictions and held a moment of silence for the victims.