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Kidnappers free Catholic priest and four others in Mali

Kidnappers freed a Catholic priest and four other people on Wednesday in the West African nation of Mali.

Gunmen released Fr. Léon Douyon on June 23, 72 hours after seizing him, reported the French public radio service RFI.

The five kidnap victims were dropped off at the roadside between Bankass and Bandiagara, in the village of Parou within the Diocese of Mopti.

All five are said to be in good health, reported ACI Africa, CNA’s African news partner.

Major Abass Dembélé, the governor of the Mopti region, central Mali, said that the five were freed after the kidnappers’ vehicle broke down not far from Mali’s border with Burkina Faso.

“The kidnappers therefore decided to abandon the vehicle somewhere in the bush and, thanks to the mediation of local Dogon and Fulani notables, they agreed to free their five hostages, who had become very cumbersome,” he was quoted as saying.

Douyon, a priest of the Diocese of Mopti, was abducted by gunmen on June 21.

Fr. Alexis Dembélé, a Malian priest, said June 22 that “the group disappeared on Monday while traveling from Ségué in the center of the country, to the funeral of Fr. Oscar Thera in the town of San.”

He continued: “The poor road network requires one to go up north and then back down to the south to the town of San.”

The group was seized about 20 miles north of Ségué, in the vicinity of Ouo.

Read more at Catholic News Agency

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