Italian missionary kidnapped in Niger

An Italian missionary has been kidnapped in southwest Niger in the latest abduction of a foreign worker in the troubled Sahel country, his organisation said on Tuesday.

Pier Luigi Maccalli, a priest who has lived in Niger for 11 years, was seized on Monday night in Bamoanga, a village 125 kilometres from the capital Niamey, said the communications chief for the Catholic mission to Niger, Thomas Codjovi.

“The kidnapping happened at around 9pm. According to local residents, about eight men arrived on motorbikes, broke into his house opposite the church and forced him to go with them. They returned 10 minutes later, firing into the air to frighten people,” Codjovi said. “There were also nuns there, but he was the only one they wanted to kidnap.”

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