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A French family of seven, including four children, has been abducted in northern Cameroon, confirmed President Francois Hollande, during a visit to Greece. Reports say the family was kidnapped at gunpoint and seen being taken towards Nigeria on motorbikes.

The abductions were carried out just 10kms away from the Nigerian border. The family, who live in Cameroon was on a sightseeing daytrip to the area. The father works for French energy company GDF Suez. The third adult with the group is said to be the father’s brother.

President Hollande said that the attack was commited by a group of Islamic extremists already known to the French government: “I am referring particularly to a terrorist group called Boko Haram which exists in this part of Cameroon,” he said.

Mathieu Guidère, a specialist on radical Islamic movements, said: “Following the military intervention in the north of Mali, now they are all cooperating against a common enemy which is France, and so now we’re dealing with regional terrorism rather than local radical Islamic groups.”

The risk of attacks on French nationals has been heightened since the French army intervened in Mali. But President Hollande declared that “France is in Mali and will continue in Mali until its mission is completed.”

Eight French nationals are already being held in West Africa by groups affiliated to Al-Qaeda.

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