Twenty students from the University of Buea’s football team in western Cameroon who were kidnapped Wednesday were released Thursday night after “severe beatings”, according to university authorities.
“There are 20 of them. They were set free just after 8:00 p.m. this Thursday evening, but they are in an unstable health situation. Some of the students have sustained injuries, some are psychologically unstable and need support,” Nicolas Asongu, coach of the team told reporters, adding that some have been hospitalized.
Initial reports indicated that about 15 students were abducted while training in Buea, capital of the Southwest region, which along with the Northwest region is home to most of Cameroon’s English-speakers.
It is not clear who is responsible for the kidnappings, as the two regions have seen a series of kidnapping cases amid tensions.
On Tuesday, a football coach was kidnapped in Bamenda, the largest Anglophone city of Cameroon, and later released.
Meanwhile, a former senior government official who was kidnapped early Wednesday in Bamenda is still in captivity.
Fighting is escalating in the two Anglophone regions of the West African nation where separatists want the two regions to secede from largely French-speaking Cameroon and create a new nation called “Ambazonia”.