Seven French tourists, including four children have been kidnapped in Cameroon, sources say. The country's foreign minister has stated that they have been taken across the border to Nigeria.
The tourists are all part of the same family, Bangkok Post
writes. A couple was traveling with an uncle and their four children, aged five, eight, ten and twelve.
The abduction occurred on Tuesday, February 19 in close proximity to the Nigerian border, in Sabongari. The village is located seven km (four miles) from Dabanga, laying by the border.
The travelers were in the area visiting Waza National Park, in the northern part of the country. While the identities of the missing people have not been released to the press at this point, one of the men is employed by the French GDF Suez energy group.
In a statement posted on their website
on February 19, the company mentions that the employee has been working on a natural gas project in the Southern area of the country, while living in Yaounde.
“GDF SUEZ confirms that one of its employees and his family living in Yaounde have been taken hostages in Northern Cameroon during a leisure trip.
“GDF SUEZ would like to express its emotion and solidarity with the persons concerned. GDF SUEZ is working closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“The Group is developing a natural gas liquefaction project in Southern Cameroon,” the energy group writes.
President Francois Hollande has also confirmed the kidnapping during his speech in Greece, in which he also warns other French nationals, noting they should avoid the area. He credits a well-known local terrorist group for the attack.
Officials believe that the kidnapping is the work of the Boko Haram radical Islamist group of militants allegedly trained by Al-Qaeda forces.