• Switzerland's news in English
Video 'claims responsibility' for Swiss woman's kidnapping
French and Mali soldiers patrol outside mosque in Timbuktu earlier last year. Photo: Philippe Desmayes/AFP

Video 'claims responsibility' for Swiss woman's kidnapping

AFP · 27 Jan 2016, 08:55

Published: 27 Jan 2016 08:55 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"We announce our responsibility for the kidnapping of this evangelizing disbeliever who, through her work, has succeeded in driving large numbers of Muslim sons from Islam," Al-Akhbar quoted a spokesman for the group as saying in the video, which was not broadcast.
In return for her release, the jihadists called for the release of a number of their fighters jailed in Mali and one of their leaders, Abu Tourab, detained at the International Criminal Court at The Hague, according to the agency.
Abu Ahmad Tourab is the nom de guerre of Ahmad al-Faki al-Mahdi, who is accused of ordering the destruction of historical monuments in Mali's fabled city of Timbuktu in 2012.
Tourab, who was a leader of the Al-Qaeda-linked Malian group Ansar Dine, is the first jihadist to appear before the war crimes court.
An official from the news agency told AFP that Al-Akhbar had no plans to distribute the video.
It was the second time Stockly has been taken captive, following her kidnapping from Timbuktu in April 2012 by Islamist fighters.
The social worker, who has lived in Timbuktu for years, was said at the time to be the last Westerner living in the desert city, which she refused to leave when it fell to Islamist Ansar Dine rebels on April 1st that year.
Two weeks later, special forces from Burkina Faso swept into rebel-held northern Mali aboard a helicopter and whisked her to safety in a pre-arranged handover by Islamist rebels.
At the time a loose alliance of Tuareg and Islamist rebels took advantage of the political chaos in Mali's capital that followed a March coup by capturing the country's vast desert north, including Timbuktu.
Stockly's capture that year brought to 24 the number of hostages seized in the Sahel region, 20 of them held by Al-Qaeda's north Africa branch, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and another Islamist group, the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO).
Almost all were subsequently released, but three foreign hostages seized, a South African, a Swede and a Romanian remain in captivity.
After Stockly's kidnapping in 2012, the Swiss foreign affairs department said it had discouraged her from another stay in Mali.
The jihadist fighters were chased from Mali's vast remote north in 2013 by a French-led military intervention.
A regional French counterterrorism force is still conducting operations in the area.
But entire swathes of the north remain beyond the reach of both the Malian army and foreign troops.
In November, 20 people, 14 of them foreigners, were killed in an attack claimed by jihadist groups on the Radisson Blu hotel in the capital, Bamako.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
‘Scary clown’ craze hits streets of Zurich
Photo: Pedro Pardo/AFP

Police in Zurich have warned so-called ‘scary clowns’ that they could face charges, following a number of incidents in the city.

VIDEO: driver chases runaway car on Swiss motorway
Image: Neuchâtel police

Shocking footage shows the moment a man dodged lorries to chase after his runaway car on a Swiss motorway.

Saas-Fee crowdfunds low-cost season ski pass
Saas-Fee is hoping to attract 99,999 season pass holders. Photo: Denis Emery/Photo-genic.ch

Skiers could get their hands on a whole season pass for just 222 francs ($223) in the Swiss resort of Saas Fee this winter – if enough people want one.

Swiss billionaire fined for dodging import tax
Urs Schwarzenbach owns the luxury Dolder Grand hotel in Zurich. Photo: Wilhem Rosenkranz

Urs Schwarzenbach faces a $4 million fine for failing to properly declare some 200 artworks imported into Switzerland.

Muslim woman wins headscarf court battle
Photo: Jack Guez / AFP

A Swiss court has ruled against a company that fired a longtime employee after she began wearing the Muslim headscarf.

Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Could Montreux host the 2026 Games? Photo: Ivo Scholz/Swiss Tourism

Montreux is to put itself forward as the host city for the 2026 winter Olympics as part of a potential bid by the cantons of Valais and Vaud.

Geneva car share scheme could help reduce city traffic
Catch a Car is aimed at short hops within a city. Photo: Catch a Car

Catch a Car, already in Basel, launches in Geneva next month.

Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Female employees in Switzerland earn 19.3 percent less than their male colleagues. File photo: Randy Kashka

Switzerland's gender pay gap means from today, Friday October 21st, women in the country will effectively be working for free for the rest of 2016.

Swiss luxury watches stolen in Paris raid
Police outside the Girard-Perregaux watch store on Thursday. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

The 10 Girard-Perregaux watches are worth half a million euros in total.

Brother-in-law arrested over murder of Swiss teacher
The victim worked in a school in Stabio, near the town of Mendrisio. Photo: Oliver Graf

The primary school teacher was found dead in Ticino earlier this week.

Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
jobs available