Kidnapped Canadian national found dead in Burkina Faso

Ottawa: A Canadian citizen, who was abducted in the landlocked West African country of Burkina Faso two days ago, has been found dead.

Burkina Faso’s foreign ministry on Thursday confirmed the development and said that a dozen armed people, believed to be terrorists, had kidnapped Kirk Woodman from a mining exploration site, CNN reported.

“Canada is appalled and deeply saddened that Kirk Woodman, who was abducted on January 15, 2019, has been killed in Burkina Faso,” Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement on Thursday.

Condemning the killing as a “terrible crime”, Freeland added, “Canada condemns those responsible for this terrible crime. We are working with the government of Burkina Faso and other international partners to pursue those responsible and bring them to justice. The government’s priority is the safety and security of Canadians.”

Extending her condolences to Woodman’s family, the Canadian Foreign Minister further said, “This is a devastating and extremely painful time for them and they have Canada’s full support. As they mourn this tragedy, we ask that their privacy be respected.”

Woodman arrived at the mining exploration site in northern Burkina Faso, near the border with Niger on January 10, before he was abducted by suspected terrorists on the evening of January 15. The site is owned by Progress Minerals, a Canadian-based mining company, as per the report.

Little is known about the circumstances surrounding Woodman’s abduction and his subsequent death.
Woodman was the second Canadian national to go missing in Burkina Faso within this month.

Last week, another Canadian citizen Edith Blais and Italian national Luca Tacchetto went missing in the western African country. No information regarding their whereabouts has surfaced so far.

Canada has issued a warning to its citizens to not travel to Burkina Faso, fearing the threat of terrorism and violence. Recently, the Burkina Faso government declared a state of emergency in the northern parts of the country.