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Al Qaeda Frees Missionary in Burkina Faso but Detains Her Husband

Amanda Casanova | Contributor | Monday, February 8, 2016

Al Qaeda Frees Missionary in Burkina Faso but Detains Her Husband

An Al Qaeda group in Burkina Faso has released an Australian missionary who was kidnapped.

According to, the missionary’s husband is still in captivity.

The Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb released a video announcing Jocelyn Elliot’s release. Her husband is surgeon Dr. Ken Elliot.

"The primary motive behind their kidnapping was an attempt to [gain] release of our captives who sit behind bars and suffer the pain of imprisonment, as well as being deprived of their basic rights,” the video message said.

The Elliot family said they are happy to have Jocelyn back and that her and her husband have worked in Burkina Faso for more than 40 years.

“We are trusting that the moral and guiding principles of those who have released our Mother will also be applied to our elderly father who has served the community of ‪#‎Djibo‬ and the Sahel for more than half his lifetime,” a statement said. “We respectfully request that they be allowed to continue their work together, providing essential surgical services."‬

The couple moved to Djibo in the 1970s and helped to build a 120-bed hospital where Dr. Elliot works as the only surgeon.

"Elliott is all for us and we need him like a baby needs his mother," said resident Moussa Dicko on a Facebook page.

Both Elliots are in their 80s.

Publication date: February 8, 2016