Boko Haram frees Chinese captives, wife of Cameroon's top politician


Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau and his lieutenants

Ten Chinese and 17 local hostages have been released in Cameroon, where they were kidnapped earlier this year in raids blamed on the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram, Cameroon’s president said Saturday.

“The 27 hostages abducted on May 16 in Waza and July 27 in Kolofata were released to the Cameroonian authorities this night,” President Paul Biya said in a statement on national radio.

Boko Haram leader, Shekau
Boko Haram leader, Shekau

The 10 Chinese citizens and other hostages, who also included the wife of Cameroon’s deputy prime minister, were all “safe and sound,” he said.

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In June, authorities said that six people had been arrested over the kidnappings of the Chinese. They were seized in May from a construction camp in Waza near the border with Nigeria in an attack that left one Cameroonian soldier dead.

The July kidnappings were carried out during two simultaneous assaults, also blamed on Boko Haram, in which at least 15 people died.

President Paul Biya of Cameroun: announces release of captives
President Paul Biya of Cameroun: announces release of captives

Cameroon shares a border of more than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles) with Nigeria, where Boko Haram has been waging a bloody insurgency since 2009. The group did not claim responsibility for the kidnappings, but has been involved in other abductions, including of 200 schoolgirls in a case that sparked international outrage.

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