by Zara Mustapha
Two Italian priests and a Canadian nun who were captured by suspected Boko Haram gunmen in Cameroon, have been freed .
According to reports, the three ex-hostages were flown out of Maroua airport, north of Cameroon near the border shared between Nigeria and Cameroon, using a military aircraft on Sunday morning.
A Cameroonian security source who had spoken to reporters said they were released in the early hours of Sunday and picked up by Cameroonian troops near the border with Nigeria, where they were being held captive.
PM News reports:
“We spent a week in Nigeria for the negotiations, and they were finally handed over to us during the night,” a Cameroon military source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The priests, named in media reports as Giampaolo Marta and Gianantonio Allegri from Italy, and Canadian nun Gilberte Bussier, were seized on April 4 from the small parish of Tchere, some 800 kilometres (500 miles) north of Yaounde.
There was no initial claim of responsiblity, but Cameroon security forces blamed Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists, who kidnapped a priest and seven members of a French family in the area last year.
Kidnappings of Westerners have become common in the remote and sparsely populated region, where borders between countries are porous.
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