Kidnapped Social media support for Australians

Ken Elliott, "doctor of the poor" and his wife Jocelyn Elliott, both Australian, have been kidnapped from Burkina Faso.

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Residents of Burkina Faso have set up a social media campaign in support of the Australian couple kidnapped near the border of Burkina Faso and Mali over the weekend.

A facebook page calls for the release of Dr Ken Elliott, "the doctor of the poor" and his wife Jocelyn Elliott.

The page states they have been helping people for over 40 years in Djibom, Burkina Faso.

Terrorist group AQIM say they are behind the kidnapping, and are reported to have al-Qaeda links. The Agence France-Presse reported they stormed the couple's house near Baraboule, dragged them from their beds, and kidnapped them.

However, it is unclear if their abduction is related to Friday's deadly al-Qaeda attack in the capital Ouagadougou, where 28 people are reported dead and a further 56 injured in the attack, which targeted two hotels and a cafe.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the pair, aged in their 80s built a hospital for the area, with Dr Elliott the only surgeon for two million people in the region.

In a statement released on Sunday, a spokesman for the family of the Elliotts said it was not known why they were kidnapped and where they are.

A spokesman for Malian militant group Ansar Dine, Hamadou Ag Khallini, told AFP the couple were being held by jihadists from the al-Qaeda linked "Emirate of the Sahara", which operates in northern Mali as a branch of the al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb​ (AQIM).

A Facebook page dedicated to the doctor shows schools in Burkina Faso showing their support of the defense forces and calling for the release of the Elliotts.

People are writing their well wishes on the page and condemning the acts of terror.

One school in the area posted photos of students coming together and building a wall for the school in honour of the doctor. The Lycée Provincial de Djibo school wrote “no one can destroy our commitment” and the students and staff of the school decided to build a wall at the of end of the school after waiting “too long in vain” for support.

"We realized that we can because our number (1500) will be our strength,” it wrote, adding it was an honour to know Dr Elliott.

Rosemary Hill wrote : “A big well done to students who have shown their solidarity with the husband Elliot. That the terrorists understand that it is we, the people of goodwill acting together who have the strength - not them!”

 

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