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Ghana security forces free two kidnapped Canadians

Police gather outside the Ashanti Regional Police Head Quarter in Kumasi on June 7, 2019. – The Canadians, charity volunteers aged 19 and 20, were taken on the evening of June 4, in Kumasi, Ghana’s second city, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) northwest of the capital Accra, David Eklu, the assistant commissioner of police said in a statement. “Police Command is investigating a complaint of kidnapping at Ahodwo, Kumasi Royal Golf Club, at 8:25 pm on 4 June, 2019, where two women of Canadian nationality were kidnapped,” Eklu said. Eklu told AFP the two kidnapped women had been travelling in an Uber with a third Canadian woman. When they reached their destination, the pair got out of the taxi first and were taken, he said. The third woman then went to alert the police with the Uber driver. (Photo by MAHMUD MOHAMMED-NURUDEEN / AFP)

Ghanaian security forces on Wednesday freed two young Canadian women who had been kidnapped at a golf club in the city of Kumasi last week, a government official said.

“National Security Operatives in the early hours of Wednesday 12 June 2019 completed an operation which successfully rescued the two Canadian women recently abducted” in Kumasi, Ghana’s second city, Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said in a statement.

“Citizens and travellers are once again assured that Ghana remains safe,” he added.

The Canadian charity volunteers aged 19 and 20 were abducted June 4, in Kumasi, Ghana’s second-largest city, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) northwest of the capital Accra.

They had been travelling in an Uber with a third Canadian woman.

When they reached their destination, the pair got out of the taxi first and were taken. The third woman then went to alert the police with the Uber driver.

Police said the women were volunteers with Youth Challenge International, a Canadian international development organisation headquartered in Toronto.

Abductions and violent crime towards foreigners are rare in Ghana.

But earlier this year, local media quoted President Nana Akufo-Addo as warning that action must be taken to make sure kidnapping “doesn’t become a feature of our society”.

Police on Tuesday briefly arrested Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, the chairman of the largest opposition party, in connection with kidnappings in the West African country.

He was later released but ordered to report back to the Criminal Investigations Department on Thursday, according to a post on the official police Twitter account.

Ghana, a nation of some 30 million people, has long been seen as a bulwark of stability in a region struggling to contain multiple groups of Islamist fighters.

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