YAOUNDE, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Cameroonian authorities on Thursday dismissed as "rumors" the alleged release of French hostages.
The AFP had earlier reported that the seven French hostages kidnapped by heavily armed men riding on motorcycles were found in an abandoned house in northern Nigeria.
They were kidnapped on Tuesday at Dabanga during a visit to the Waza national park in the extreme north of Cameroon near Nigeria.
"There might either be good news or bad news. But at least this gives us some hope," an official of Cameroon's Defense Ministry told Xinhua on phone, in reference to the AFP report.
At a press conference held on Wednesday, the Cameroonian army indicated that it was in contact with the authorities in the neighboring nation, with a view of finding the hostages who include an employee of a French company, GDF Suez, in the Cameroonian capital Yaounde.
At the moment, the identity of the kidnappers remains unknown and no demand for ransom has been made.
The French authorities have accused Boko Haram, a Nigerian militant sect, of being behind the kidnapping of the French tourists including three adults and four children ages five to 12.
The extreme north of Cameroon borders Nigeria and Chad. The frontier is porous where special national army units have been deployed to fight against armed groups.
Army escorts are always provided for people wishing to move in the border areas. However, this is the first time that hostages have been kidnapped in the region.
Following the incident, the Cameroonian authorities announced the reinforcement of security measures for all expatriates, especially the French nationals, across the West African country.