In the South-West region of Cameroon, separatist fighters are holding eight individuals in custody, including Catholic priests, a nun, and worshippers.
In the course of the raid, their kidnappers also destroyed a church in the nearby town of Nchang. The incident has not yet been assigned a perpetrator.
Authorities in the Catholic Church expressed astonishment at the attack.
The Bamenda Provincial Episcopal Conference’s Catholic bishops claimed that since 2016, men and women of God have become “soft targets” of kidnappings and threats.
The president of the Bamenda ecclesiastical province, Archbishop Andrew Nkea, told the BBC that the kidnappers were demanding ransom and that they were using the church as a “soft target so as to make money”
English-speaking separatists and the government have been engaged in a violent battle in Cameroon’s North and South West regions for years.
The International Crisis Group think tank estimates that the violence has resulted in more than 6,000 fatalities and more than a million people being displaced.