Armed men kidnap 78 students in Cameroon’s restive northwest

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) — A governor in Cameroon’s restive northwest region says armed men have kidnapped at least 78 students from a Presbyterian school in Nkwen village.

Deben Tchoffo said Monday the school’s principal was also abducted late Sunday near Bamenda, the capital of the troubled English-speaking region.

It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the kidnappings.

Hundreds have been killed in Cameroon’s Anglophone regions in the past year, where violence between armed separatists and the military have increased since a government crackdown against protesters in the northwest and southwest regions who claim that as the English-speaking minority they are marginalized by the French-speaking government.

Violent separatists took up arms to destabilize the Anglophone regions to win independence for the areas they want to declare a separate state, which they call Ambazonia.