Church official says kidnapped German priest freed in Mali

BAMAKO (Reuters) – German missionary Father Hans Joachim Lohre who was kidnapped in Mali’s capital Bamako last year has been freed by his captor, a church official told Reuters on Sunday.

Patient Nshombo of the Missionaries for Africa told Reuters by telephone that Lohre had been released.

“Yes, he has been freed, but we have to wait for further details from the authorities,” Nshombo said.

The government of Mali did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for the German foreign office declined to comment.

Lohre, who had been living in Bamako for 30 years, was meant to celebrate mass on a Sunday morning in the Malian capital last year when his colleagues noticed that his car remained parked in front of his house and his telephone was switched off.

(This story has been refiled to remove extraneous words in paragraph 1)

(Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo in Bamako and Emma-Victoria Farr in Frankfurt; Writing by Bate Felix, Editing by Louise Heavens)