Aussie hostage freed after 7 years

Dr Kenneth Elliott
Kenneth Elliott has been freed after seven years. Picture: Supplied

An esteemed Australian doctor held hostage in Western Africa for seven years has been freed, the Australian government has confirmed.

Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong said Kenneth Elliott was “safe and well” and had been reunited with his wife and children.

Dr Elliott, now 88, was taken hostage by al-Qai’da-linked jihadists in Burkina Faso in January, 2016, alongside his wife Jocelyn, who was quickly released.

Dr Kenneth Elliott
Kenneth Elliott has been released after seven years as a hostage. Picture: Supplied

In a statement, Dr Elliott’s family said they wished to “express our thanks to God and all who have continued to pray for us”.

“We express our relief that Dr Elliott is free and thank the Australian government and all who have been involved over time to secure his release,” his family said.

“We continue to pray for those still held and wish them freedom and safe return to their loved ones.”

Career missionaries for decades, Dr and Mrs Elliott had run a 120-bed clinic in Burkina Faso for decades.