Australian woman freed by al Qaeda-linked kidnappers

Australian hostage Jocelyn Elliott is shown with Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou after her release.

Story highlights

  • The Australian couple worked at a clinic in Burkina Faso
  • Authorities in Burkina Faso and neighboring Niger helped secure her freedom

(CNN)An Australian woman kidnapped by militants in Burkina Faso last month has been released, but her husband is still missing, relatives said Sunday.

Jocelyn Elliott and her husband, Dr. Ken Elliott, were seized by al Qaeda-linked militants on January 15.
    The couple worked at a clinic in the northern town of Djibo, near the border with Mali. They provided surgical services in Burkina Faso for more than four decades, according to relatives.
    Authorities in Burkina Faso and neighboring Niger helped secure her freedom, her family said in a statement through Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs.
    "The Elliott family are deeply grateful for the safe release of our mother, Jocelyn," the statement said. "We wish to convey our great appreciation to authorities in Niger and Burkina Faso for their support and assistance."
    The family said it hopes those holding Ken Elliott will let him go as well.
    "We are trusting that the moral and guiding principles of those who have released our mother will also be applied to our elderly father," they said.
    The same day the Elliotts were kidnapped, militants linked to the same terror group attacked a cafe and hotel in the capital of Ouagadougou, killing at least 29 people.
    Al Qaeda-linked Al-Mourabitoun group has claimed responsibility for the Elliotts' kidnappings and the attacks in the capital.
    Last week, the group said it plans to release Jocelyn Elliott because it does "not target women in times of war."