Armed men kidnapped two Italian priests and a Canadian nun overnight in northern Cameroon, Italy’s foreign ministry and media reported on Saturday.
The gunmen pulled up to the buildings where the nun and the priests were staying at around 2:00am (1am GMT), ransacking the grounds before taking off with the three hostages, according to Italy’s Ansa news agency.
The Italian foreign ministry has confirmed that two members of clergy from Italy’s northern Vicenza region had been kidnapped but declined to give any further information.
According to Italian daily “Corriere della Sera”, the victims were staying in Cameroon’s northern Maroua region, which borders a part of Nigeria dominated by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
The attack comes just three months after the release of French priest Georges Vandenbeusch, who was kidnapped in the same area in mid-November 2013 and then held in neighbouring Nigeria by Boko Haram.
One of the priests taken on Friday night had been in Cameroon for more than six years and the second had arrived about a year ago, Ansa reported.
Authorities in the priests’ home region of Vincenza were not immediately available for comment.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
Date created : 2014-04-05