Canadian kidnapped in Burkina Faso dies


A Canadian geologist kidnapped in a restive region of Burkina Faso has been found dead.

Kirk Woodman was abducted on Tuesday night by a dozen gunmen on a mining site owned by Vancouver-based Progress Minerals in the country's northeast, near the border with Niger.

It is an area that the government says is under growing threat from armed jihadists.

Burkina Faso Foreign Minister Alpha Barry said Woodman's body was found on Wednesday afternoon in the district of Gorom Gorom and was identified by colleagues.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said her nation condemned those responsible.

"We are working with the government of Burkina Faso and other international partners to pursue those responsible and bring them to justice," she said in a statement.

Progress Minerals said the company is "heartbroken".

"Kirk was an incredibly accomplished and highly respected geologist with a career spanning over 30 years, with 20 years spent in West Africa," Progress chief Adam Spencera said in a statement.

"More importantly, Kirk was a kind person, a dedicated father and husband and considered a friend by all who knew him."

Barry offered his condolences, condemned the killing and said there will be an investigation to find and punish those responsible.

Attacks by Islamist militants have surged in the west African country in recent months.

A state of emergency in several northern provinces has been in effect since December 31.

Earlier this month a Canadian woman and an Italian man went missing in Burkina Faso.

There has been no word since then on their fate.

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