The Cameroonian army has freed 12 European hostages, including seven Swiss nationals, who were kidnapped by a rebel group in the southwestern part of the country.
The hostages were tourists who were heading to a local national park when they were kidnapped by “armed terrorists” and subsequently freed on Monday in a special operation by the army, said a spokesperson of the Cameroon government on Wednesday.
The seven Swiss and five Italians were abducted in the Moungo-Ndor locality on their way to the Twin Lakes of Muanenguba.
The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed the developments to swissinfo.ch and said in a statement that the seven Swiss citizens had been “abducted and were subsequently freed in Cameroon”. The people affected were in good health given the circumstances and their relatives had been contacted by the Swiss embassy in Cameroon.
Ambazonia Defense Forces (ADF), one of the main armed groups in English-speaking region of the country, denied responsibility for the kidnapping through statements from its leader Cho Ayaba, to the AFP press agency.
Foreign Affairs Minister Ignazio Cassis, who is currently on an official visit to China, had been informed of the developments and the Swiss authorities are in contact with Cameroonian officials to clarify the details regarding the incident, added the foreign affairs department.
The abduction took place in the English-speaking Western region of Cameroon, where separatist forces are fighting for an independent state.