March 20, 2018 / 5:42 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Tunisian engineer killed by kidnappers in southwest Cameroon - govt

(Adds details, background)

YAOUNDE, March 20 (Reuters) - A Tunisian engineer has been killed by his kidnappers in southwest Cameroon, but three of his colleagues have been rescued, the government said.

The body of Khaled Tinsa was recovered on Monday during a rescue operation that freed another Tunisian engineer and two Cameroonian technicians, government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary said. He did not say when Tinsa died.

The group, employed by Tunisian road construction company Soroubat, was abducted last week while building a road between the towns of Kumba and Isangele, Bakary said.

The government blamed “terrorists”, a phrase it uses for English-speaking separatists who have been waging a guerilla campaign against state security forces in the mostly French-speaking central African nation since late last year.

A kidnapping would mark a change in tactics for the separatists who have focused on ambushing police and army checkpoints.

One of the main separatist forces operating in the area, the Ambazonian Defence Force (ADF), could not be immediately reached for comment. (Reporting By Josiane Kouagheu; Writing by Aaron Ross; Editing by Edward McAllister and Andrew Heavens)

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