Kidnappers freed scores of school children and a driver in west Cameroon on Wednesday, but kept hold of a principal and one teacher, officials said.
Armed men who seized the youngsters on Monday in the city of Bamenda, a commercial hub of Cameroon’s restive English-speaking region, released them about 18km (11 miles) away in the town of Bafut, the army said.
“Praise God 78 children and the driver have been released. The principal and one teacher are still with the kidnappers. Let us keep praying,” said Samuel Fonki, a minister of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, who was involved in negotiations to free them.
Fonki said no ransom was paid, but gave no more details on the circumstances leading up to the release.
One other child had escaped earlier, he added.
Fonki earlier said another 11 children were kidnapped by the same armed group on October 31 and then released after their school paid a ransom of $4,400.
Army spokesperson Didier Badjeck said the kidnappers released the children after the military found out their location.
Two other children were still missing, along with the principal and teacher, Badjeck said.
Fonki and the Cameroonian military have accused anglophone separatists of carrying out the kidnappings, but a separatist spokesman denied involvement.