March 20, 2015 / 7:29 PM / in 3 years

At least 15 kidnapped by unknown gunmen in eastern Cameroon

YAOUNDE (Reuters) - At least 15 people, including a mayor and local government officials, were kidnapped by unknown gunmen in eastern Cameroon near the restive border region with Central African Republic, authorities said on Friday.

The delegation, which included local councillors, was returning from a funeral on Thursday night when they were attacked near Garoua-Boulai, about 600 km (373 miles) northeast of the capital Yaounde.

Samuel Ivaha Diboua, governor of Cameroon’s Eastern Region, said in a statement that everything was being done to free the hostages.

The victims were taken across the border into Central African Republic, one of the three members of the delegation to escape told officials.

Armed rebel groups from Central African Republic have carried out similar types of raids since their country descended into chaos in March 2013 after the Seleka rebel group seized power.

Reporting by Anne Mireille Nzouankeu and David Wanedam; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Daniel Flynn

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