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UPDATE: Canadian man kidnapped in Africa found dead

(UPDATE: Jan. 17 @ 6:35 a.m.) - The search for a Canadian man kidnapped in Burkina Faso was short lived and didn't produce the result anyone was hoping for.

Kirk Woodman, a Halifax man who worked for a Vancouver-based mining company, was found dead late on Wednesday.

Foreign ministry officials in Burkina Faso confirmed the news.

"Canada is appalled and deeply saddened that Kirk Woodman, who was abducted on Jan. 15, 2019, as been killed in Burkina Faso," said a statement from Chrystia Freeland, Canada's minister of foreign affairs.

"Canada condemns those responsible for this terrible crime. We are working with the government of Burkina Faso and other international partners to pursue those responsible and bring them to justice."

Woodman's body was found in the Oudalan province in the west African country's northern Sahel region.

Jean Paul Badoum, an official with the ministry of security, said the body was found along with bullet wounds, but no group has taken responsibility for the kidnapping.

The region has seen a number of abductions of foreigners in recent years by extremists linked to al-Qaida or the Islamic State organization.

With files from the Canadian Press.

(Original story: Jan. 16 @ 1:15 p.m.) - For the second time in a month, a Canadian is believed to have been kidnapped in the African country of Burkina Faso.

According to government officials, Canadian national Kirk Woodman was kidnapped in the country’s northern Sahel region.

The mining employee, who works for the Vancouver-based Progress Mineral Mining Company, was abducted during an overnight raid on a mining site in Tiabongou.

"The Canadian agencies involved in this situation are really aware of this situation, and we’ll be in contact with the family," said Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s foreign affairs minister.

Woodman’s kidnapping comes one month after the disappearance of 34-year-old Edith Blais, a tourist from Quebec, who is also believed to have been abducted.

<who>Photo Credit: Facebook</who>Luca Tacchetto and Edith Blais

Although it hasn’t been confirmed, the federal government now believes that the disappearance of Blais, and her Italian friend Luca Tacchetto, was due to a kidnapping.

The Sahel region in West Africa has seen a number of abductions on foreigners in recent years by extremists linked to al-Qaida or the Islamic State organization.

Burkina Faso recent declared a state of emergency regarding attacks in the region and Clement Sawadogo, the country’s security minister, says foreigners should use extreme caution when travelling in dangerous areas of the country.

Thumbnail photo courtesy of Edith Blais on Facebook.
With files from the Canadian Press.

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