Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Al Qaeda Releases Two Diplomats, Two Tourists Kidnapped in Africa

Good news from Mali: UN workers Robert Fowler and Louis Guay, kidnapped in December 2008 in Niger and later moved to Mali, as well as tourists Marianne Petzold and Gabriella Burco-Greiner, abducted in January of this year, have been freed. Via Fox News:
Presidential spokesman Seydou Cissouma said two Canadian U.N. workers, Robert Fowler and his aide Louis Guay, were set free along with two female tourists.

Al Qaeda's North Africa branch had claimed the kidnapping, saying it was holding Fowler, a senior U.N. peace envoy, and the others after taking them captive in neighboring Niger.

The U.N. staffers were captured in December, while the two women were members of a group of four tourists seized a month later. Cissouma had no further details and there was no word on the fate of the two other missing tourists.

A Canadian government spokeswoman had no immediate comment.

The Al Qaeda group did not issue demands for the hostages' release, but in the past it has obtained ransoms for Western tourists kidnapped in the Sahara, the world's largest desert.

AlQaeda in Islamic North Africa, known by the French language acronym AQMI, is an Algeria-based group that joined Usama bin Laden's terrorist network in 2006 and conducts dozens of bombings or ambushes each month. It operates mainly in Algeria but is suspected of crossing the country's porous desert borders to spread violence in the rest of northwestern Africa.

Please continue to pray for the protection and rescue of Edwin Dyer and Werner Burco-Greiner who are still in terrorist captivity.

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