The owner of an international mining group announced on Monday, January 20, that his son, an Indian national who was kidnapped in September 2018, has been released. No further details regarding the release of the victim have been made available as of Monday. It is also unclear if the two other individuals abducted in the same incident were also released from captivity. No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and the attackers have not been publicly identified.
Unidentified armed men abducted the victim along with two other colleagues while they were traveling to Djibo (Soum province, Sahel region) to visit a remote mine. Jihadist groups in the region are suspected of carrying out the attack.
Terrorism has become an increasingly severe security threat in Burkina Faso since 2015. Educational institutions, local government officials, and security forces are especially targeted. Initially concentrated in the Sahel region, attacks have spread to other regions. Attacks are usually attributed to Ansarul Islam and other groups affiliated with Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
Individuals in Burkina Faso are advised to monitor developments relating to the security situation, obey local regulations (e.g. state-of-emergency orders), and remain vigilant for criminal and militant activity.
Due to severe threats of terrorism and kidnapping, individuals present in Burkina Faso - including the capital Ouagadougou - are strongly advised to be discreet regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, to remain vigilant at all times, and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.