KIRK WOODMAN, the Canadian geologist who was kidnapped in the West African state of Burkina Faso earlier this week, has been found murdered.
The National (h/t TherezaB) Woodman, a geologist, was abducted after nightfall by a dozen gunmen on a mining site owned by Vancouver-based Progress Minerals near the border with Niger, in an area that the government says is under growing threat from armed Islamic militants.
The death will fan concerns that the influence of violent groups with links to Al Qaeda and ISIS has spread uncontested into Burkina Faso from neighbouring Mali and Niger. Attacks by Islamic militants have surged in the West African country in recent months. A state of emergency in several northern provinces has been in effect since December 31.
“The agents who were working were attacked by about ten armed men who rounded up the staff. They took the expat with them,” the Burkina’s security minister Clement Sawadogo said on Wednesday, adding that the Canadian company Progress Minerals was exploring at the gold site.
Woodman was the vice president of the company, mining sources told AFP. It owns the mine in volatile Yagha province near the borders with Niger and Mali.
Earlier this month, a bleeding hear leftist Canadian woman taking part in a humanitarian aid program was reported missing after traveling in the West African country with an Italian friend. Edith Blais, 34, and her friend, Lucas Tacchetto, 30, from Venice, were last seen on December 15.
(The boyfriend is probably dead and the woman likely has beecome a sex slave for her Muslim captors)