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>> These are the scores of school children kidnappers freed in Cameroon on Wednesday, along with a driver. But they're still holding a principal and a teacher, and two other kids are still missing. They were abducted from a school in Bamenda, a commercial hub of Cameroon's restive English-speaking region on Monday.
The army said the youngsters were released in the town of Bafut, 11 miles from the school after the military found out the kidnapper's location. It's thought that one of the 78 children taken ran away from the kidnappers before the release. A priest involved in negotiations with the armed men said no ransom had been paid.
But he claims the group had taken another 11 children in October, who were released after the school paid a ransom of $4,400. The Cameroonian military has accused anglophone separatists of carrying out the kidnappings. A separator spokesman denied any involvement. Cameroon secessionist movement would say it's discriminated against by president Paul Biya French speaking government, turned violent in 2017.
That was after a government crackdown on initially peaceful demonstrations by the English speakers. But there are no records of the separatists every having kidnaped children. Meanwhile, Biya was inaugurated on Tuesday, extending his 36-year rule. In a speech, he took a hard line on separatists, telling them to lay down their arms or face the full force of the law.