(CHRISTIAN TODAY) – Armed men kidnapped a Swiss missionary from her home in Timbuktu on Friday, nearly four years after she was abducted by Islamist militants from the same house, Malian and Swiss authorities said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is active in desert areas north of the city and has a history of seizing foreigners and demanding ransoms.
In April 2012, militants kidnapped Beatrice Stockly and released her days later. She returned to her work as a missionary. A resident of Timbuktu who knows Stockly told Reuters she had again been abducted.
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"I confirm that a European woman was kidnapped in Timbuktu at 3.30 a.m. (0330 GMT). A neighbour alerted the security forces around 6 a.m.," said army spokesman Souleymane Maiga.
Four vehicles were used in the kidnap, said a military source in Timbuktu who declined to be identified.
"One vehicle parked in front of the house and armed men got out and abducted the woman, while the other three cars secured the area from a distance," said the source.