Mali gunmen release Swiss woman

IOL | South Africa - 24 April 2012

Timbuktu - Islamist fighters in rebel-held northern Mali on Tuesday released a Swiss woman abducted this month in the desert town of Timbuktu, witnesses and the Swiss government said.

Beatrice Stockly was handed over by heavily-armed members of Islamist group Ansar Dine to Swiss diplomats 7km north of Timbuktu, the witnesses said. She had been captured on April 15.

Wearing a black veil, the woman appeared to be in good health and did not make any public statement after her release, according to a witness.

Stockly is a missionary who has lived in Timbuktu, and old Sahara trading town and a seat of Islamic learning, for a number of years and speaks several local languages, residents said.

The Swiss Foreign Ministry issued a statement confirming a woman kidnapped on April 15 in Timbuktu had been released, adding she was now in a safe place and in good health (...)