Elderly Woman Kidnapped in Burkina Faso Released By Jihadists
Niger has gained the release of an elderly Australian woman kidnapped last month along with her husband by jihadists in neighboring Burkina Faso.
Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou introduced Jocelyn Elliott at a news conference Saturday in the southwestern Niger city of Dosso. He did not reveal events leading to her release, but said authorities were intensifying pressure on militants for the release of her physician husband, Ken Elliott.
The couples, both in their 80s, were abducted January 15 from the northern Burkina town of Djibo, where they have operated a 120-bed medical clinic since the early 1970s.
Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb said Friday that it had kidnapped the couple and would release the woman unconditionally, after hundreds of local protesters angered by the abductions launched several public rallies aimed at gaining the couple’s release.
The Elliotts were seized on the same day that al-Qaida extremists launched deadly raids at a restaurant and hotel in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, killing 30 people, many of them foreigners.