YAOUNDE, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- Cameroon National Gendarmerie said on Saturday its forces have freed five hostages in the Centre region where the capital Yaounde is located.
The hostages, including three women and two men who had escaped from an armed separatist conflict in the country's English-speaking region of Northwest, were kidnapped by unknown individuals in Sombo village of the region on Thursday, the gendarmerie said in a statement released Saturday night.
On Friday, security forces launched an operation to rescue the hostages in the Ndoupe forest where they were being held.
"This operation made it possible to release the hostages that same day at around 7 p.m. local time. The kidnappers had fled before the arrival of the gendarmes," the gendarmerie said in a statement.
Security forces are grilling the victims and investigations are underway to arrest the kidnappers, according to the gendarmerie.
Cameroon has beefed up security in communities that host internally displaced persons who are facing persistent threats from unknown individuals, according to security reports. ■