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French Priest Kidnapped in Cameroon

The foreign ministry of France says a French priest has been kidnapped in northern Cameroon, near the border with Nigeria.

The ministry says Georges Vandenbeusch was abducted late Wednesday near the town of Koza, about 30 kilometers from the border.

The deputy prefect of Cameroon's far northwestern Mayo-Tsanaga district, Ouhe Kolande, confirmed the kidnapping to VOA.



He says it appears to have been two men who came and attacked the priest. A nun saw it and alerted the neighbors. He says when the neighbors came out, the attackers forced the priest onto a motorcycle and fled. We suspect they were Boko Haram members because they have been in the area for a while.



Colonel Tatang Francis, a commander for Cameroon's army in the far north, told VOA that a manhunt is on but the attackers appear to have gone back over the border into Nigeria.

He said the motivation for the kidnapping remains unclear.



They came mainly for money," he says. "When they could not find the money, that's when I heard they decided to take the reverend."



France says it is working with authorities in Cameroon to find the kidnappers and have the priest released.



A French family of seven was kidnapped in northern Cameroon earlier this year and released unharmed. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for that kidnapping.

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