Italian priest kidnapped in Niger

An Italian priest has been kidnapped close to Niger's border with Burkina Faso.

So far, the abductors have not made any demands. It is the second kidnapping of a European national this year in the West African state which has struggled to defeat jihadist groups.

However, it is still unclear who kidnapped the priest.

Residents of Bomoanga village - located more
than 100km (62 miles) from the capital, Niamey - say armed men arrived on Monday night and seized the priest.

The Catholic Society of African Missions (Sam) says Father Pierluigi Maccalli has lived in Niger for the past 11 years. They say he has been actively promoting the development of education, healthcare and the training of young farmers in the southwest's Gourmancé area.

Militant Islamists are known to be active near the borders with Mali and Burkina Faso.

In June, Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou told television broadcaster France 24 that an American missionary and a German aid worker - kidnapped in separate incidents in his country - were both alive


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