Cameroon: 79 abducted pupils released

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Seventy-nine school pupils abducted by gunmen this week in a troubled English-speaking region of Cameroon have been freed, the country’s communications minister told AFP Wednesday.
The kidnappings on Monday were the first such mass abductions seen in Cameroon and coincide with an upsurge of political tensions in the majority French-speaking country.
“All 79 students have been released,” said Issa Bakary Tchiroma, without giving details of the circumstances under which they were set free.
The students were enrolled at the Presbyterian Secondary School in Bamenda, capital of Cameroon’s Northwest Region — one of two areas where surging anglophone separatist militancy has been met with a brutal crackdown by authorities.
They were kidnapped with three school staff members, but Tchiroma said their fate was not yet clear.
The students’ release comes a day after Cameroon’s 85-year-old President Paul Biya was sworn in for a seventh term in office.

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