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An 83-year-old missionary nun from Louisiana has been released nearly five months after she was kidnapped from her bed in the west African country of Burkina Faso, news agencies report.
A letter sent to Marianites of Holy Cross said Sister Suellen Tennyson was free and in U.S. hands in Niger’s capital, Niamey, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported. The newspaper said it had obtained a copy of the letter and the order’s U.S. congregational leader, Sister Ann Lacour, had confirmed Tennyson’s release.
A group of “unidentified armed men” kidnaped Tennyson of the Marianites of Holy Cross congregation overnight from a parish in Yalgo between April 4 and 5 and took her to an unknown location, the archdiocese said, citing Bishop Theophile Nare of the Kaya Diocese.
“We are grateful to God,” New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
Niamey is about 160 miles west of Yalgo, the Burkina Faso town where Tennyson was living. She had worked in Burkina Faso since 2014.
Her kidnapping came at a time of escalating violence and jihadi attacks in Burkina Faso.
“U.S. special operations forces rescued a hostage from Africa in a raid this week, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley revealed on Tuesday. The hostage’s identity wasn’t officially released, but reports suggest it may be a Catholic nun from the New Orleans, La. area,” American Military News reported.
Fox News’ Audrey Conklin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.