January 22, 2019 3:48 pm

Gunmen stole valuables during kidnapping, killing of Canadian in Burkina Faso: official

A Canadian man kidnapped in Burkina Faso has been found dead. Kirk Woodman was an employee of a B.C.-based mining company. Neetu Garcha has the latest details and reaction from the federal government.

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Details are emerging about the kidnapping and killing of a Canadian mining company executive in Burkina Faso last week, as authorities continue their investigation.

Jean Paul Badoum, an official with the West African country’s Ministry of Security, says the gunmen who kidnapped Kirk Woodman of Halifax also appear to have stolen a number of items, including money, cell phones and computers.

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READ MORE: Canadian killed in Burkina Faso mourned by family, friends

He says the theft suggests the kidnapping may have been carried out by a gang of armed bandits.

But Badoum says security forces are continuing to investigate and are not ruling anything out – including the possibility extremists or other groups were involved.

He says as there were no witnesses and no one has come forward to claim responsibility, it remains unclear what took place or who was involved.

Badoum says security forces are putting their maximum effort into identifying those responsible and bringing them to justice.

Woodman, who worked for Vancouver-based Progress Minerals Inc., was found dead last Wednesday in Oudalan province, in the northern Sahel region. His body was found riddled with bullets.

He had been kidnapped by armed gunmen from a mining camp in Tiabongou, about 20 kilometres from Mansila in Yagha province.

Burkina Faso recently declared a state of emergency in the region as attacks by Islamic extremists increase, especially along the border with Niger and Mali.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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