Kenneth Elliot, an Australian doctor kidnapped in Burkina Faso and held captive by al-Qaeda for more than seven years, has finally returned home to his family.
“Kenneth Elliott was safe and well and was reunited with his wife and their children on Thursday night,” Foreign Minister Penny Wong told the Associated Press.
“We wish to express our thanks to God and all who have continued to pray for us,” added Elliott’s family in a statement released by Wong’s department.
On Jan. 15, 2016, Elliot and his wife, Jocelyn, were taken from their home in Burkina Faso by the Mali-based terror organization al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Jocelyn was quickly released in February 2016.
Elliot and his wife had been running a hospital in Djibo. The hospital, that could hold 120 patients, was closed due to Elliot’s absence after the kidnappings. He was the only surgeon in the area and made his services free to the population of roughly 2 million. He was given the nicknames the “Doctor of the Poor” and “Savior of the Sahel” for the work he was doing.