Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

20 February 2013

Cameroon: French hostages - Cameroon, nigerian defences force collaborate

Security is heightened in Dabanga, Far North Region where terrorists abducted seven tourists

Cameroon and Nigerian Defence forces are collaborating to trace the whereabouts and release seven French tourists who were kidnapped at Dabanga in the Far North Region on February 19 and taken to an unknown destination in neighbouring Nigeria, senior defence officials said yesterday, February 20, 2013. They revealed that contacts have been made with Nigeria and the authorities of the two countries are working together for a solution.

The Head of Joint Operations Centre at the Ministry of Defence, Colonel Eyebe Didier, assisted by the Head of the Communication Division of the Ministry of Defence, Lieutenant Colonel, Badjeck Didier gave a press conference at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Defence, Yaounde yesterday, February 20, 2013. The defence officials said Dabanga where the tourists were kidnapped by terrorists is along the Maroua-Kousseri highway, near the porous borders with Nigeria, stating that the act took place 30 metres away from the border.

In respect of the instructions of the Head of State, the officials said, Cameroon's defence forces have heightened security in the area. They said investigations have intensified and the public will be informed on evolution.

As at the time of the press conference, no particular group had claimed responsibility for the abduction. Military sources say tourists in the northern part of the country are usually escorted by security forces on request, stating that the seven French tourists were not escorted. The Cameroon government in a release published by the Ministry of External Relations on the kidnapping, assured the public and tourists in particular, of special measures to guarantee security throughout the country.

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