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Cameroon Says Abducted French Family Released

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A French family of seven that was kidnapped in Cameroon by Islamist militants has been freed after two months of captivity.

In an interview with VOA a French foreign ministry spokesman said the seven are in good health and are at the French embassy in Cameroon's capital, Yaounde.

Spokesman Philippe Lalliot said the family was released late Thursday at the Cameroon-Nigeria border. He added that France had contact with the kidnappers but no ransom was paid.

The family of three adults and four children was kidnapped at gunpoint February 19 while vacationing in northern Cameroon. The kidnappers later said they were members of the Nigerian radical sect Boko Haram.

The father of the family, Tanguy Moulin-Fournier, told reporters Friday that the family was held at an unknown place near the Nigeria-Cameroon border. He refused to comment on how they were released but extended what he called "heartfelt gratitude" to Cameroon President Paul Biya.

The French foreign ministry says it will be up to the family whether they return to France or stay in Cameroon.

Boko Haram has been blamed for more than 1,000 deaths in scores of bombings and shootings, mostly in northern Nigeria, since it launched an uprising in 2009.

Several other French nationals are being held in West Africa. France has become a target for Islamist militants since it intervened in Mali in January.