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Boko Haram suspected of kidnapping priest

MAROUA, Cameroon, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- A French priest in Cameroon was kidnapped and government officials pointed blame at the militant Islamic group Boko Haram in neighboring Nigeria.

Provincial Gov. Fonka Awa Augustine said Boko Haram militants were seen racing back across the border into Nigeria after the Rev. Georges Vandenbeusch was taken hostage Wednesday after presiding over mass at his parish church in Nguetchewe, about seven miles from Nigeria.

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Boko Haram has not claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, CNN reported Saturday.

Security analyst said the border between Cameroon and Nigeria is lightly guarded and as the Nigerian government presses to eliminate Boko Haram the militants have taken refuge in remote portions of Cameroon to evade the threat.

Though the group lacks the financial wherewithal to carry out large-scale military operations it has carried out several kidnappings and ambushes, targeting Christians in particular, CNN said.

The group took a French family of seven, including four small children, hostage earlier this year. They were eventually released without harm.

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