Islamist militant group Boko Haram was paid a $3.15 million ransom to release a French family of seven.
A confidential Nigerian government report obtained by Reuters said that French and Cameroonian negotiators handed over the money before the hostages were set free. The memo did not say where the money came from, but France and Cameroon denied paying the ransom. Nigerian authorities declined to comment.
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The report also said Cameroon freed some Boko Haram detainees in order to reduce the ransom. The militant group had originally demanded double the amount that was paid.
The group had also released a YouTube video in February saying it would kill the family if others from Boko Haram were no released from Nigerian and Cameroonian custody.
The French family, who live in Yaounde, had been returning home from a holiday in the Waza National Park in northern Cameroon when armed men on motorcycles kidnapped them on February 19. Tanguy Moulin-Fournier, who worked for French gas group Suez, was held captive with his wife, Albane, their four young children, and his brother, Cyril, until they were released on April 19.
Eight more French hostages are still being held in the Sahel region by al Qaeda's north African arm. The wellbeing of one of the hostages is unknown after the group said last month it had beheaded Philippe Verdon.