PARIS, November 15. /ITAR-TASS /. Militants of the radical Islamist movement Boko Haram (“Western education is sinful” in the Hausa language) claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of French priest Georges Vandenbeusch in Cameroon, as reported by Agence France-Presse on Friday.
“I can confirm that the French priest is being held by the extremists from Boko Haram that were carrying out an action in coordination with Ansaru (Boko Haram’s branch that engages in kidnapping people),” the agency quoted its source in the militant group.
42-year-old French priest has been kidnapped on Thursday in the north of Cameroon, where he served in one of the region’s monasteries. Media reports say the crime was committed in the village of Nguetchewe, in 15 km away from the Nigerian border. According to eyewitnesses, the kidnappers were talking to each other in English and acted without hiding their faces.
“In regard of this area there was an official recommendation dictating to refrain from trips there due to terrorism threat and danger of possible kidnapping,” a brief message from French Foreign Affairs Ministry writes. “Knowing all the circumstances, father Georges decided to stay in his ward in order to continue his mission.”
This is not the first act of kidnapping of French citizens in the area of Nigeria-Cameroon border. In February, militants of Boko Haram that encroached upon the territory of Cameroon took 7 French hostages, including four children. The kidnapped were set free after two months.