Cameroon’s government said 27 hostages were release by suspected Boko Haram militants, including the deputy premier’s wife and 10 Chinese nationals.
The hostages were handed over to the government authorities last night and were taken to the capital, Yaounde, for medical examination, Minister of Communication Issa Tchiroma told reporters at the city’s airport today. Tchiroma didn’t give further details about the release.
The wife of Deputy Premier Amadou Ali was captured in July in the northern part of the country by gunmen suspected to be members of the Islamist militant group that mainly operates in neighboring Nigeria. The 10 Chinese nationals were kidnapped from a camp near the northern town of Waza in May.
Boko Haram has been fighting security forces in Nigeria for the past five years, bidding to impose Islamic law in Africa’s biggest economy and oil producer. In that time it has killed more than 13,000 people, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said last month. Boko Haram has increased raids in Cameroon this year.
In April, the group, whose name means “western education is a sin” in the Hausa language, abducted more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok, a Nigerian town in the northeastern state of Borno, close to the border with Cameroon. Most of the schoolgirls are still missing.
Cameroonian President Paul Biya has sent more than 1,000 troops to the border with Nigeria as Boko Haram intensified its cross-border attacks.