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Boko Haram holding French priest kidnapped in Cameroon, source

French Catholic priest Georges Vandenbeusch celebrates mass in his parish in north Cameroon
French Catholic priest Georges Vandenbeusch celebrates mass in his parish in north Cameroon AFP

Nigeria's Boko Haram kidnapped of French priest Georges Vandenbeusch and are holding him captive, a source in the Islamist group said on Friday. Officials in Cameroon, where he was taken prisoner, say a motorbike-riding gang was seen in Nigeria with the priest.

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Boko Haram carried out the kidnapping along with members of Ansaru, a breakaway Islamist movement, the source told the AFP news agency.

Cameroonian intelligence officials had already declared that Vandenbeusch's capture in a village in the north of the country bore the hallmarks of the Nigerian group.

The group abandoned about 300 Kalashnikov cartridges on the road in Nigeria, Cameroon radio reported Friday and the governor of the region where the abduction took place, Augustine Awa Fonka, told RFI that villagers over the border had seen a gang on motorbikes with their lights out with the priest.

French authorities have set up an inquiry into "kidnapping in relation to a terrorist enterprise".

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