Tuesday 24 April 2018

Former Burkina official abducted in troubled zone

Former Burkina official abducted in troubled zone
(AFP 03/22/18)

A former municipal councillor in Burkina Faso has been abducted in a northern zone bordering Mali which has been repeatedly targeted by jihadists, the security ministry said Thursday.

Troops were combing the area after the abduction in Lassa village, Soum province, by "five armed individuals on motorcycles" on Wednesday evening, a statement said.

His whereabouts were unknown, the ministry added.

A similar incident in April last year saw two civil servants abducted in Ina-Bao, also near the Mali border. Both were later released.

In 2015, the Ansar Dine group led by rebel leader Iyad Ag Ghaly kidnapped Australian Kenneth Elliot and his wife Jocelyn in Djibo, a town bordering Mali and Niger.

Jocelyn Elliot was released a year later but her husband is still in captivity.

Ansar Dine has since merged with other groups and its new variant, the Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM), claimed a March 2 attack in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou which left eight dead.

Another group kidnapped Romanian Iulian Ghergut in 2015 and he remains in captivity.

A total of 133 people have been killed in 80 jihadist attacks in the region in the past three years, according to an official toll.

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