Report says that an Italian Catholic Priest who was working as a Missionary in Niger Republic has been kidnapped.
Father Pierluigi Maccalli of the Society of African Missions (SMA) was abducted last night according to Agenzia Fides report.
Maccalli was known to organise meetings against local practices like circumcision and female genital mutilation, and this “may be one of the reasons for the kidnapping, according to local sources.
Maccalli was based in the Bomoanga parish in the Niamey diocese.
His mission was in the Gourmance area near the Burkina Faso border, about 125 kilometres from Niamey.
The Italian embassy in Niger have asked local authorities to give top priority to the case and to avoid “initiatives that may put ri Father Maccalli at risk.
Maccalli’s brother, Walter, also a missionary priest, told ANSA: “We wish with all our heart that everything will work out for the best. In some cases all you can do is pray and wait with hope’’.
There are several Islamist groups in Niger’s border area with Mali and Burkina Faso, some of whom have sworn allegiance to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda.