French Special Forces In Cameroon Helping Hostage Probe

French special forces have arrived in northern Cameroon to help locate a French family who were kidnapped on Tuesday and moved to Nigeria, a local governor said on Wednesday.
The abduction of three adults and four children highlights the risk to French nationals and interests in Africa since Paris sent forces to Mali to oust Islamist rebels.

"French special forces came in yesterday from N'Djamena to help with the investigation. They left yesterday and came back today," Augustine Fonka Awa, governor of Cameroon's Far North Region, told Reuters by telephone.

He declined to say how many French military arrived from their regional base in Chad's capital, which is about 40 miles (60 km) from where the French tourists were taken.

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday evidence pointed to Nigerian Islamists Boko Haram, but there did not appear to be a direct link to France's intervention in Mali.

"We believe it's the Boko Haram group that carried out the kidnapping, but we don't know for sure. Unfortunately, terror breeds terror," Le Drian told France 2 television.

Asked to confirm or deny whether France had sent special forces, a spokesman at the Defence Ministry in Paris said only that their presence was an unfounded rumour.

"French gendarmes visited the site of the kidnapping yesterday in coordination with Cameroonian police to assess the situation and were protected by French military," he said.

Two Yaounde-based agents from the French DGSE foreign intelligence agency were dispatched to the kidnap zone to work with Cameroon's secret service and a French army helicopter was sent to help look for the hostages, French BFM TV reported without citing sources.

Joseph Dion Ngute, a junior minister at Cameroon's foreign ministry, told French television the kidnappers put the hostages on motorcycles and stole another car before heading to Nigeria.

"Our forces and the Nigerian forces were alerted, but before they reacted the kidnappers had vanished."

Security in the Dabanga area where they were taken, six miles (10 km) from the Nigerian border, has been reinforced and "urgent measures" to locate the family put in place, he said.
Terrorism 4513901620357302176

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