Claim French hostages released 'unfounded'

Last updated 02:00 22/02/2013

Relevant offers

Africa

Fear of Ebola led to murder - and a whole village was punished US jury convicts Osama bin Laden aide over 90s embassy bombings US missionary kidnapped in Nigeria 207 Boko Haram fighters killed in Nigeria Seven killed in Egyptian air strikes on Libyan city Egyptian court jails leading activist for 5 years Girl suicide bomber 'no more than 8 years old' Hundreds rescued after fire at South African gold mine UN: Gunmen abduct 89 boys in war-torn South Sudan, says UN Death toll rises to 25 after terror attack in Somalia's capital

France's foreign ministry has denied that seven French hostages captured in Cameroon have been released, saying media reports earlier were unfounded.

"After checking with our embassies, this information appears to be unfounded. The governments of the countries involved, mainly Nigeria and Cameroon, have also denied it," said Didier Le Bret, spokesman for the ministry's crisis unit.

French television earlier reported that the hostages had been found alive in a house in northern Nigeria and are safe with Nigerian authorities.

The hostages, four children and three adults, were captured by Islamist militants this week while on a tourist excursion to the Waza national park near the Nigerian border with Cameroon.

It was the first case of foreigners being seized in the mainly Muslim north of Cameroon, a former French colony, but the region is considered within the operational sphere of Islamist sect Boko Haram and fellow Nigerian Islamist militants Ansaru.

"The hostages are safe and sound and are in the hands of Nigerian authorities," BFMTV quoted an officer from Cameroon's army as saying.

Earlier, France's minister for veterans' affairs, who told parliament on Thursday that seven hostages abducted from Cameroon had been released, said minutes later there was no official confirmation that they had been freed.

A French diplomatic source said there would be no official confirmation until French authorities had received physical proof the hostages had been freed or they were in French hands. 

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content