Islamists ‘Execute’ Christian Missionary from Switzerland

Christians
Photo by DDP on Unsplash

Jihadists with ties to the al-Qaeda terror network executed a Christian missionary after four years in captivity in the African nation of Mali, Swiss authorities reported Friday.

Media identified the woman as Beatrice Stoeckli, a Christian missionary from the north-western Swiss city of Basel who was first kidnapped by Islamist militants in early 2012 and later released on condition that she not return to Mali.

The missionary was abducted again in January 2016 while working in the city of Timbuktu and appeared in a terrorist video in July 2017 with her face wrapped in a black headscarf.

The Swiss foreign ministry has now confirmed that the woman was killed by an al-Qaeda-linked coalition in Mali.

“It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of our fellow citizen,” said Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis. “I condemn this cruel act and express my deepest sympathy to the relatives.”

Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) revealed that it was informed of the woman’s death by French authorities on Friday afternoon.

“She was apparently killed by kidnappers of the Islamist terrorist organization Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslim (JNIM) about a month ago,” the ministry said.

FDFA said the exact circumstances were “currently still unclear” but vowed to continue investigating the killing and to demand the repatriation of woman’s remains.

On Friday, jihadists released French aid worker Sophie Pétronin, Malian politician Soumaïla Cissé, and two Italians in Mali as part of a deal with the Malian government. Last Monday, more than a hundred jihadists were released in exchange for Pétronin and Cissé.

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