At least 20 out of the 80 people taken hostage by Boko Haram militants in Cameroonian villages of Maki and Tourou district near Mokolo city on Sunday have been freed. BBC.co.uk reports that Cameroon’s defence ministry said the hostages were freed “as defence forces pursued the attackers who were heading back to Nigeria.” Many of those kidnapped in the cross-border raid were said to be children. It was one of the biggest abductions by Boko Haram outside Nigeria and raised fears that it is expanding its attacks. The militant has seized control of towns and villages in north-east Nigeria and has begun threatening neighbouring countries. Chad, which also borders Nigeria, has recently sent soldiers to help Cameroon tackle the militants. On Friday, President John Mahama of Ghana said African leaders would discuss plans this week to “deal permanently” with Boko Haram, and suggested a multinational force may be considered.