MOSCOW, October 11 (RIA Novosti) - The Cameroon government announced that 27 hostages kidnapped by Nigeria’s militant Islamist group Boko Haram in May and July have been released, The Guardian reported Saturday.
“The 27 hostages kidnapped on May 16, 2014 at Waza and on July 27, 2014 at Kolofata were given this night to Cameroonian authorities,” President Paul Biya was quoted by the newspaper as saying in a statement on state radio.
Among the hostages were 10 Chinese workers, the wife of the deputy prime minister and members of a religious group at Kolofata in Cameroon.
Many civilians have fled from northern Nigeria to Cameroon to escape attacks by the militant group, but Boko Haram began cross-border attacks earlier this year.
Boko Haram was founded in 2002 and is seeking to establish a caliphate in Nigeria. The group made international headlines when they raided a school in northeastern Nigeria in April and kidnapped almost 300 school-girls in protests against western education.
Last month the group used one of the kidnapped school-girls as a suicide bomber, as confirmed by a Nigerian human rights lawyer at a congressional hearing on international religious freedom on September 18.
Meanwhile, plans are underway by the leaders of Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Benin to step up the fight against Boko Haram with an additional battalion and a command center to tackle the group, whose insurgency is now spreading beyond Nigeria, ABC reported earlier this week.