The stays of a Swiss girl who was killed whereas held hostage by an Al Qaeda affiliate group in Mali have been recovered, authorities officers mentioned Wednesday.
Switzerland’s Overseas Ministry introduced in a press release that DNA exams confirmed the physique of the hostage — recognized in reviews as Beatrice Stoeckli, a Christian missionary who was kidnapped by the Islamist group in 2016 — has been formally recognized.
“Sadly, we now have definitive proof that the girl who was held hostage is useless,” mentioned Switzerland’s overseas minister, Ignazio Cassis. “However I’m additionally relieved that we are able to return the girl’s stays to her household and I want to go on my deepest condolences to them.”
Cassis mentioned in October the ministry was advised by French authorities that Stoeckli had been killed by her captors from the jihadist group Jama’at Nusrat Al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM) a couple of month earlier, however her physique was not situated.
Stoeckli, who lived in Mali for years working with native kids, was first taken hostage in 2012, however was launched days later. In 2016, she was kidnapped a second time and later killed, Swissinfo reported.
Cassis famous Stoeckli’s case throughout a go to to Mali in February and known as for authorities to make clear the circumstances of her slaying. Stoeckli’s physique will probably be despatched to Switzerland as soon as it’s launched by Malian authorities, he mentioned.
Officers in Mali knowledgeable Switzerland days in the past that the stays of an individual believed to be Stoeckli had been handed over to them. The DNA samples have been then despatched to Switzerland for evaluation and its Institute of Forensic Drugs confirmed the match, Cassis mentioned.
“I additionally want to thank the Malian authorities for his or her help in serving to to determine the physique,” his assertion continued.
The Overseas Ministry declined to launch extra particulars for “knowledge safety causes” and because of pending legal proceedings, Cassis mentioned.