ACCRA/TORONTO (Reuters) – Ghana forces have rescued two Canadian women who were kidnapped last week outside their hostel in Ghana’s second city of Kumasi, the Ghanaian government said in a statement on Wednesday.
The women, aged 19 and 20, were volunteers for Canadian charity Youth Challenge International (YCI).
YCI in a statement named the two volunteers as Lauren Tilley and Bailey Chitty. It said the two were receiving emotional and psychological support and were physically unharmed.
Global Affairs Canada spokesman Guillaume Berube said the government was very relieved that the two Canadians were released and thanked the government of Ghana for its cooperation. Berube said consular officials were providing support for Tilley and Chitty and for their families.
Officials at Ghana’s Information Ministry said five Ghanaians and three Nigerians were taken into custody, that no ransom was paid for the release, and that there was no foreign involvement in the rescue operation, CBC reported.
Kidnappings were rare in Ghana until a spate of abductions late last year, most of them for ransom. They are more common in other parts of West Africa, especially Nigeria.
An Indian national was kidnapped and rescued in Kumasi last month, local media reported.
Reporting by Christian Akolie and Tyler Choi; writing by Tim Cocks; editing by Catherine Evans and Steve Orlofsky