Canadian recounts her abduction by jihadis in Burkina Faso

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — Nearly a year and a half after being abducted by Islamic extremists in Burkina Faso, Edith Blais risked her life to escape, fearing she’d never be free. Blais spoke with the Associated Press by phone ahead of this week’s publication of her book recounting the ordeal, “The Weight of Sand: My 450 Days Held Hostage in the Sahara.”  The 37-year-old Canadian and her Italian companion were captured by jihadis in December 2018 in eastern Burkina Faso and were held in the desert in northern Mali for 15 months before fleeing one night on foot. For years jihadi groups linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State in the Sahel have used hostage taking for ransom as a way to fund operations and expand their presence.