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Two priests and a nun 'released' in Cameroon

Two priests and a nun 'released' in Cameroon
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Two Italian priests and a Canadian nun seized in April by gunmen in northern Cameroon have been released, according to the country’s communications minister.

The former hostages have reportedly been flown to the capital Yaoundé and are said to be in good health.

At the time of their abduction, the kidnappees were identified by the Catholic Church as priests Giampaolo Marta and Gianantonio Allegri – missionaries from the diocese of Vicenza in Italy – and the nun as Gilberte Bussières.

The three were taken at gunpoint from their accommodation in the district of Maroua in the early hours of April 5.

While no group has claimed responsibility for the kidnap, suspicion has fallen on Nigerian militant faction Boko Haram.

Its members seized and later released a priest and a French family of seven in Cameroon last year.

Meanwhile, state radio has announced the killing by Cameroon security forces of some 40 Boko Haram militants in clashes in the north. A source linked to the president confirmed the clashes, which took place west of the town of Kousseri, in the region bordering Nigeria and Chad.

Cameroon deployed around 1,000 troops to the far north at the end of May 2014, after being criticised by Nigeria for not doing enough to fight the Islamist militants.

Boko Haram fighters have killed thousands of people in an attempt to carve out an Islamic state in Nigeria.