YAOUNDE, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Officials of Catholic Church in Cameroon said on Friday unknown gunmen have kidnapped two Catholic priests at Ibal village in the troubled Anglophone region of Northwest.
They were "kidnapped late at night on Thursday along Ibal -- Jikejem road on their way to the town of Oku in the Northwest region," said a statement by the Catholic Church in Northwest, calling on the abductors to release the clerics unharmed.
Local police said operatives were already combing the village with the view to rescue the priests and arrest the kidnappers who police claimed are members of separatists fighting for the independence of Cameroon's two English-speaking regions of Northwest and Southwest.
The separatists have denied kidnapping the priests.
Kidnapping of priests has become widespread in the two regions since an armed conflict that has so far led to hundreds of deaths since 2017.
In 2018, a Kenyan priest was shot dead in front of the church of the Parish of St. Martin of Tours in Kembong, a locality in Cameroon's Southwest region.