A Christian missionary from Switzerland who has been held hostage in the West African country of Mali since the start of 2016 has apparently been executed by her Muslim captors. In announcing the death of Beatrice Stockli, 59, Swiss Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis expressed "great sadness."
"I condemn this cruel act and express my deepest sympathy to the relatives," Cassis said on behalf of Switzerland's Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
Stockli was apparently shot dead by the Islamists a month ago upon her refusal to cooperate with the jihadists' latest attempt to move their captives. This information came from a fellow prisoner, 75-year-old French hostage Sophie Pétronin, who said that moving prisoners was a common tactic intended to prevent authorities from determining their whereabouts.
Pétronin said that Stockli's protest led to her being drug outside one night and shot to death.
A missionary since 2000, Stockli was kidnapped by Muslim extremists once in 2012, and then again in 2016 when she was drug from her home by armed Islamists in pickup trucks. Following her abduction, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb took responsibility for the crime.
"Beatrice Stockli is a Swiss nun who declared war against Islam in her attempt to Christianize Muslims," the terror organization said through a spokesmaperson.
Swiss authorities are attempting to determine details surrounding her execution and are hopeful to track down the location of her remains.