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Colombian nun kidnapped in Mali in 2017 is released

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Gloria Narvaez, Colombian nun who was kidnapped more than four years ago by al-Qaida-linked extremists in Mali has been released.

The nun was kidnapped in February 2017 near Mali’s border with Burkina Faso.

The conditions of her release have not been revealed. Assimi Goita, President of Mali's transitional government , members of army with Colombian nun Gloria Narvaez

She was received by Mali's transitional president on Saturday where she expressed her gratitude to the authorities.

"I thank the Malian authorities, the president, all the Malian authorities, for all the effort you've made to liberate us, may God bless you, may God bless Mali. I thank you very much."

There have been irregular reports of tye nun's safety over the years. The columbian police however reported several meetings were held to try to secure her release.

"Meetings have been held worldwide, with ambassadors from several European countries, but also from African countries, always in the spirit of seeking the safe release of our compatriot (Gloria Cecilia Narvaez,)," said Jorge Luis Vargas, Director of the Colombian National Police.

The al-Qaida-linked group is still holding several other Westeners, including an American clergyman kidnapped in Niger and a French journalist.

Mali has been trying to contain an Islamic extremist insurgency since 2012.

Extremist rebels were forced from power in Mali’s northern cities with the help of a 2013 French-led military operation.

However, the insurgents quickly regrouped in the desert and began launching frequent attacks on the Malian army and its allies fighting the insurgency.

The extremists have expanded their reach well into central Mali.

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