A Swiss female hostage in Mali has been killed by kidnappers of a militant group about a month ago, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs said Friday night in a media statement.

Saying that the death was informed by the French authorities Friday evening, the media statement said that the information about the killing was obtained by the French authorities from the recently released French hostage, and the exact circumstances of the killing are currently still unclear.

According to the statement, the Swiss authorities have worked over the past four years to ensure that the Swiss citizen could be released and return to her family.

“It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of our fellow citizen,” says Swiss Federal Councillor and Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis.

The Swiss female hostage, Beatrice Stockli, reportedly a Christian missionary, was kidnapped by a group of armed men on Jan. 7 of 2016.

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