Cameroon: Pirates kill 2 cops, kidnap 11

2011-02-08 12:50
Yaounde - Pirates killed two Cameroonian paramilitary policemen on Monday, a day after kidnapping 11 government officials in Cameroon's oil-rich Bakassi peninsula, a local authority said.

Mayor Cornelius Edonde of Kombo Etindi, an island inside the peninsula, told The Associated Press by telephone that the 11 officials were escorting a United Nations survey mission to Bakassi when they were ambushed on Sunday. The victims included the mayors of two other islands and their staff, said Edonde.

"When the boat carrying the mayor of Kombo Abedimo and that of Idabato was returning with other nine people on board, it was ambushed by unknown armed men, who took them to an unknown destination," Edonde said.

On Monday afternoon, he said two paramilitary police searching for the kidnapped people were killed in a clash in the Bakassi peninsula, said Edonde.

He said he fears the attacks were carried out by the Bakassi Freedom Fighters, a militant faction disputing Cameroon's ownership of the oil-rich tongue of land.

Bakassi was officially handed over to Cameroon in August 2008 following a verdict two years earlier by the International Court of Justice.

Nigeria and Cameroon had fought over the peninsula for over a decade and had nearly gone to war over the mangrove-covered islands. The transfer of sovereignty has not been accepted by some militant Nigerian groups and there have been sporadic attacks including past kidnappings.

- AP
Read more on:    cameroon  |  central africa  |  pirates
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