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American Nun Kidnapped in Burkina Faso Freed

FILE: Catholic nuns attend a church service at the cathedral of Our Lady of Kaya in the city of Kaya, Burkina Faso. Taken 5.16.2022

An 83-year-old American nun who was kidnapped from her home in Burkina Faso earlier this year, has been returned unhurt, according to Catholic church officials in the West African country.

Sister Suellen Tennyson had been abducted by 10 gunmen. The church statement about her release, though, said she was still in good health after nearly five months in captivity.

β€œFor the moment we have no information on the conditions of her release but we express our profound gratitude to those who worked toward it," Kaya Bishop Theophile Nare said.

Gunmen kidnapped Tennyson from her home in Yalgo, about 100 kilometers (62 miles) northeast of Kaya, back in April. Two other nuns β€” one from Canada and one from Burkina Faso β€” and two young Burkinabe women who were living in the same house, were not taken.

Tennyson has been a missionary in Burkina Faso since 2014 and previously worked in the New Orleans archdiocese for many years.

Jihadi groups linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State in the Sahel, the vast expanse south of the Sahara Desert, have long taken foreign hostages for ransom to fund operations. American aid worker Jeffrey Woodke, who was kidnapped from Niger in 2016, is among those who remain in captivity.