83-year-old nun released 5 months after kidnapping in Africa

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An 83-year-old missionary nun from Louisiana has been released nearly five months after she was kidnapped from her bed in the west African country of Burkina Faso, news agencies report.

A letter sent to Marianites of Holy Cross said Sister Suellen Tennyson was free and in U.S. hands in Niger’s capital, Niamey, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported. The newspaper said it had obtained a copy of the letter and the order’s U.S. congregational leader, Sister Ann Lacour, had confirmed Tennyson’s release.

“We are grateful to God for the safety of Sr Suellen,” Archbishop Gregory Aymond said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

The archdiocese referred a call Wednesday to the Marianites’ press office in Covington, Louisiana. Neither Lacour nor the press office immediately responded to requests for comment Wednesday from The Associated Press.

Lacour said in April that Tennyson was kidnapped in the middle of the night April 4, in her pajamas and without her glasses or blood pressure medicine.

“We have no statement to make at this time other than she is safe,” Lacour told The Times-Picayune.

Niamey is about 160 miles (257.5 kilometers) west of Yalgo, the Burkina Faso town where Tennyson was living. She had worked in Burkina Faso since 2014.

Her kidnapping came at a time of escalating violence and jihadi attacks in Burkina Faso.

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