80 people, mostly school children, kidnapped in Cameroon

  • 80 people, mostly school children, kidnapped in Cameroon

80 people, mostly school children, kidnapped in Cameroon

"In total 81 people were kidnapped including the school principal". "We have asked our military to do everything and bring back the kids alive".

According to Journalducameroon.com, the gunmen stormed the Presbyterian Secondary School Nkwen before rounding off the students to an unknown destination.

It was not clear who was responsible for the kidnapping, which occurred in the English-speaking region of Cameroon where separatists are fighting to form a breakaway state.

A video said to have been released by the kidnappers shows several young boy being forced to state their name to camera.

The men who identify themselves on the video as the kidnappers say they will only release the children when they achieve what they want.

While the video could not be independently verified, parents have been reacting on social media saying they recognise their children in the video. You will be going to school now here, " the men said on the video.

The conflict between the insurgents and government security forces intensified a year ago after a government crackdown on peaceful protesters. They have mounted attacks against civilians who do not support their cause.

One of the original gripes was that French-speaking teachers were being deployed to English-speaking schools in the north-west and south-west regions. The separatists also have torched at least a hundred schools and driven out students and teachers from buildings taken over as training grounds. No group claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.

Though figures are still not exact for the moment, a source at the North West Governor's office said they remain cautious for the moment to give out figures not to create panic in some schools.

Last week, separatist militants attacked workers on a state-run rubber plantation in southwestern Cameroon, allegedly chopping off their fingers because the men defied an order to stay away from the farms.

In this Sunday Oct. 7, 2018 file photo, Cameroon's Incumbent President Paul Biya, of the Cameroon People's Democratic Movement party, casts his vote during presidential elections in Yaounde, Cameroon. Government forces have fought separatists in Cameroon's North West and South West regions.

- Associated Press writer Carley Petesch in Dakar, Senegal, contributed.