Indian, S African among three kidnapped in Burkina Faso

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Ouagadougou(Burkina Faso): An Indian and a South African were among three mine workers kidnapped in a northern part of Burkina Faso which has been repeatedly targeted by Muslim militants, sources told AFP.

“The three men of Indian, South African and Burkinabe nationality were kidnapped by unidentified armed men” between the Inata gold mine and the town of Djibo bordering Mali and Niger, a security source told AFP.

The kidnapping was confirmed by a fellow mine worker who said the three men “left the site (of the mine) around 8:00 am and by 10:00 am they had no more news of them”.

“After alerting the defence and security forces, we learned there had been a kidnapping,” said the worker, declining to be named.

The kidnappers are “probably members of Muslim militant groups operating in the region”, said another security source in the capital Ouagadougou, adding that the assailants “headed towards the Mali border, and have likely already crossed it”.

It is not the first time that foreign workers have been kidnapped in Burkina Faso.

Romanian Iulian Ghergut was abducted in 2015 by the Al-Mourabitoun group, linked to Al-Qaeda, and he remains in captivity.

In January 2016, another group kidnapped Australian Kenneth Elliot and his wife Jocelyn, both in their eighties, in Djibo.

Jocelyn was released but her husband, who had been working in the country for decades, is still being held.

There have also been incidents in other parts of the troubled Sahel country and an Italian missionary was last week kidnapped in neighbouring Niger.