Swiss woman kidnapped in northern Mali

Mali gunmen abduct Swiss woman from her home in Timbuktu, believed to be same woman who was kidnapped in April 2012 by militants

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

Swiss citizen Beatrice Stockly is believed to be kidnapped. This picture was taken in Timbuktu, Mali on April 24, 2012

A Swiss woman has been kidnapped by gunmen overnight Thursday into Friday in the northern Mali town of Timbuktu, where she had been living for several years, and was previously held by militants, Malian military spokesman Souleymane Maiga said.

"Beatrice, a Swiss citizen, was kidnapped in her home in Timbuktu by gunmen," a Timbuktu government official told AFP.

The woman, presumed to be Beatrice Stockly, was abducted by militants in April 2012 while working as a missionary. She was released in the days following her abduction with efforts mediated by Burkina Faso. 

According to a Malian security source, gunmen had come to her home at night, "knocked on the door, she opened, and they left with her."

Militants including Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb  (AQIM) members seized control of Mali's vast remote north in March-April 2012, but were chased out the following year by a French-led military intervention.

French forces drove DAESH from major urban centres in 2013, but terrorists remain active in the West African country and have recently intensified their insurgency.

TRTWorld and agencies