Body of murdered Swiss hostage found in Mali

Beatrice Stöckli was kidnapped twice in Mali (pictured here being released in 2012), but was killed by her captors on the second occasion. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

The remains of a Swiss women, who had been kidnapped by Islamic terrorists and already declared dead, have been identified in Mali.

This content was published on March 31, 2021 - 12:00

Beatrice Stöckli had been taken hostage in Mali in 2016 by the jihadist group Jama'at Nusrat Al-Islam wa'l-Muslimin (JNIM). In October of last year the Swiss foreign ministry announced that she had been killed by her captors.

But until now, Stöckli’s body had not been recovered. Her remains were found by the Malian authorities and DNA tests have confirmed her identity, a Swiss government press releaseExternal link announced on Wednesday.

“Sadly, we now have definitive evidence that the woman who was held hostage is dead,” said Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis. “But I am also relieved that we can return the woman's remains to her family and I would like to pass on my deepest condolences to them. I also wish to thank the Malian authorities for their assistance in helping to identify the body.”

Stöckli had lived in Mali for a number of years working with local children. She was kidnapped for the first time in 2012 but was released after a few days in captivity. Four years later, she was snatched for a second time and this time killed.

During a visit to Mali in February, Cassis brought up the case of the still missing Stöckli and called on the authorities to recover her body and clarify the exact circumstances surrounding her death.

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