World Briefs: Woman freed by group affiliated to Al-Qaeda

Woman freed by group affiliated to Al-Qaeda

NIAMEY • An elderly Australian woman kidnapped with her husband in Burkina Faso by a group affiliated to Al-Qaeda has been freed, neighbouring Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou said last Saturday.

Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said last Friday that it had kidnapped the couple on Jan 15 and would release the woman unconditionally due to public pressure and guidance from Al-Qaeda leaders not to involve women in war.

For more than 40 years, the couple -Dr Ken Elliott and his wife, Jocelyn, who are in their 80s - have operated a 120-bed clinic in the town of Djibo near Burkina Faso's border with Mali.


Militant group behind Daallo Airlines jet blast

MOGADISHU • The militant group Al-Shabaab was responsible for the bomb blast last Tuesday that forced a Daallo Airlines passenger jet to make an emergency landing at Mogadishu airport, Somalia's Minister of Air Transport and Civil Aviation Ali Ahmed Jama has said.

He told reporters last Saturday that the bomb, which blew a hole in the fuselage of the Airbus A321 jet carrying 74 passengers, was intended to kill as many as possible. One person died in the incident.


Tunisia finishes barrier along frontier with Libya

SABKEHT ALYUN (Tunisia) • Tunisia has completed a 200km barrier along its frontier with Libya to try to keep out militants, and will soon install electronic monitoring systems.

Libya's chaos since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 has allowed the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group to gain a foothold there. Officials say militants who carried out two major attacks in Tunisia last year had trained in camps in Libya.

Troops have raised an earth wall and dug trenches 2km from the Libyan border. European and American military trainers will soon train Tunisian forces to improve electronic surveillance with cameras and radar, Defence Minister Farhat Hachani said last Saturday.


Facebook founder gives daughter Chinese name

SAN FRANCISCO • Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Ms Priscilla Chan, have ushered in the Chinese New Year by giving their baby daughter, Max, a Chinese name: Chen Mingyu.

The surname Chen takes after Ms Chan's family name, while Mr Zuckerberg said Mingyu "represents our hope for a brighter tomorrow for the world".

The couple appeared with Max in a 1½-minute-long video yesterday to wish everyone a Happy Chinese New Year, speaking entirely in Mandarin.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 08, 2016, with the headline 'World Briefs: Woman freed by group affiliated to Al-Qaeda'. Print Edition | Subscribe