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Update 78 students have been freed but school's principal and a teacher are still being held

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Cameroon's northwest authorities suspended the movement of all non-emergency vehicles in the area where they say 79 schoolchildren were abducted.

The restrictions began Tuesday in some districts in Bamenda to facilitate search and rescue operations for the abducted children, according to local authorities.

The pupils were taken around midnight Monday along with their teacher, the principal and a driver, from their boarding school, the Presbyterian Secondary School in Bamenda city, authorities told CNN.

Monday, the army deployed military police and helicopters to search for the children.


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Schoolchildren kidnapped from a boarding school in Cameroon's North-West region are meeting the regional governor after being freed.

The 78 students and three others were seized early on Sunday in the region's capital, Bamenda.

A driver was also released, but the school's principal and a teacher are still being held.

The government has accused separatists in the English-speaking region of being behind the kidnapping.

The Anglophone separatists have denied they were involved.

The secessionist movement took up arms last year to demand independence for the North-West and South-West regions - the two English-speaking regions in a country where French is the most widely spoken official language.


The kidnapped students, aged between 11-17 years old, are "frightened and traumatised but in good shape", Rev Fonki Samuel, Presbyterian Church Moderator in Cameroon, told the BBC Focus on Africa programme.

He said that they were being given food and being checked by the doctors before being released to their parents.

He added that Bamenda's Presbyterian Secondary School - where they were seized - had been closed.

How were the children freed?

According to the Presbyterian Church of Cameroon, the students were abandoned in one of their buildings in the town of Bafut, about 24km (15 miles) from Bamenda.


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