Christian Missionary Beatrice Stoeckli named as Swiss Mali victim of al-Qaida


From the Swiss edition of The Local and France 24 via Yahoo News

A Swiss woman thought to have been killed in Mali was a missionary abducted in 2016, the Swiss foreign ministry said on Saturday. 

Beatrice Stoeckli was a missionary from Basel who was working in Timbuktu  when she was taken four years ago — having already been abducted by jihadists once before, in 2012, Swiss news agency Keystone-ATS reported.


The Swiss authorities said in a statement released late Friday that for the past four years they had been working with the Malian authorities and other partners for her release.   

The ministry said it was informed by French authorities that the hostage had been “killed by kidnappers of the Islamist terrorist organization Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam Muslimeen about a month ago.”

The group, known as JNIM, is Mali’s branch of al-Qaida.

The foreign ministry said the French authorities had informed them of Stoeckli’s fate based on what French hostage Sophie Petronin, who was released earlier this week, had told them.   Petronin, who had been the last French hostage still being held, arrived back in France on Friday after four years in the hands of jihadists.  She seems to have survived by converting to Islam. 

Stoeckli, a Christian missionary, and at least four further foreign hostages were also held by JNIM and its associates. The fate of the others wasn’t immediately known.

The Swiss Foreign Ministry said it was trying to find out more about the circumstances of the killing and the whereabouts of her remains.


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