French priest released 'on compassionate grounds'
January 2, 2014, 12:14 am TWN
KANO, Nigeria -- The banned Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram on Wednesday said it had released a French Roman Catholic priest on compassionate grounds but insisted that no ransom had been paid.
The militants, considered a terrorist organisation by the United States, claimed responsibility for kidnapping Georges Vandenbeusch, who was seized from his parish in northern Cameroon on Nov, 13.
A source within the group said they had demanded a ransom from France through the Cameroon government to release the 42-year-old, who was freed on Tuesday and arrived back in France on Wednesday. But the French government had refused and requested that Vandenbeusch be released on humanitarian grounds because of his status as a clergyman, the source added.