Police in Mali reported the arrests of two people in the capital Bamako following the disappearance of a German church minister.
Hans-Joachim Lohre, who has lived in Mali for around 30 years, failed to appear for a service he was scheduled to conduct on Sunday 20 November.
“Two people were arrested in the course of the investigation,” a police representative in the capital announced on 24 November. He added that there was growing evidence that the minister had been abducted.
A neighbour reported seeing a car without licensed plates parked outside the institute at which Lohre teaches. The car had left the scene after Lohre disappeared.
A colleague of Lohre said, “The door of his car was open and there were footprints on the ground as though someone had been fighting.”
Islamist extremists are suspected to have abducted the minister, given several instances of kidnapping of foreign missionaries by such groups in Mali in recent years. Since 2012, jihadists have been waging a war to occupy north and central Mali with the declared aim of establishing sharia (Islamic law) throughout the country.