Vanguard (Lagos)

19 February 2013

Nigeria: Hollande Suspects Boko Haram Kidnapped French Tourists

Photo: Vanguard
Nigerian Gunmen (file photo)

President Francois Hollande confirmed that seven French tourists from one family, including four children, were kidnapped Tuesday in northern Cameroon and said he suspected a Nigeria group was responsible.

"What is most probable is they were taken to Nigeria," Hollande said, adding that they were seized by a Nigeria-based "terrorist group that we know well".

The seven French tourists, apparently three adults and four children, were kidnapped Tuesday by unidentified men in northern Cameroon, near the border with Nigeria, a source close to the French embassy in Yaounde said.

"Seven French tourists were captured today by men, apparently on motorbikes, in the Cameroonian locality of Dadanga on the frontier with Nigeria," the source said. "Clearly the tourists were returning from the Waza natural park."

A security source in the area told AFP the kidnapping "involved three adults and four children," adding that security forces were hunting for the kidnappers the length of the border with Nigeria.

An anonymous source in Waza park said the tourists went to visit the park yesterday. "They slept in the park's tourist camp where they left this morning," the source said.

It's the first time that Western tourists have been kidnapped in Cameroon, although hostage taking frequently occurs off the Cameroonian coast, the last incident dating back to February 8.

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