Al-Qaeda claims kidnap of Australians

2016-02-06 17:15


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Ouagadougou - An al-Qaeda group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of an Australian couple near Burkina Faso's border with Mali last month.

Dr Ken Elliott and his wife Jocelyn, who are in their 80s, were abducted from the northern town of Djibo on January 15.

In a purported audio message, al-Mourabitoun, a branch of the al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) group, said it had decided to release the wife unconditionally. 

"It is our religious duty to respect the civilians, based on the Prophet's Hadith on not harming women, the elderly and the children and based on the guidance by our commanders," the channel said.

The Australian couple have lived in Djibo since 1972, where they ran a 120-bed clinic treating the local population.

They were abducted as fighters raided a hotel and a restaurant in the capital Ouagadougou in an attack in which 27 people were killed.

In the audio recording, al-Mourabitoun said they were willing to exchange the Australian hostage after they secure the release of their own fighters in custody.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  burkina faso  |  security

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