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European nun killed in Central African Republic, where she taught local girls

Central African REPUBLIC

Atdr | Shutterstock

John Burger - published on 05/23/19

Sister Inés Nieves Sancho was 77.

A 77-year-old European nun was found with her throat cut near her home in the Central African Republic Monday morning, Vatican News reported.

The body of Sister Inés Nieves Sancho was discovered at her workshop in the village of Nola, which is part of the Diocese of Berberati.

The Vatican News site said that at some point overnight between Sunday and Monday, assailants entered the nun’s home and forcibly took her to the workshop where she regularly held sewing lessons for local girls to help improve their lives. There, her attackers apparently cut her throat.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Burgos in Spain told AFP that a bishop in the Central African Republic had described the state of the nun’s body.

“They cut her neck to the point of killing her, but they didn’t cut off her head completely,” he said.

The bishop said the motives for her murder were not known and “no terrorist organization” has claimed responsibility for it, the spokesman said.

Sister Inés was a member of the Filles de Jesus, or Daughters of Jesus, a small religious community based in Massac-Seran, France, near Toulouse.

In his general audience in St. Peter’s Square Wednesday, Pope Francis commented, “Today I would like to remember Sister Ines, 77, educator of poor girls for decades, barbarously killed in Central Africa in her room where she taught how to sew, yet another woman who gives her life for Jesus at the service of the poor.”

Separately, a missionary priest from Congo was also killed on Sunday in Mozambique’s coastal city of Beira. Fr. Landry Ibil Ikwel, 34, was stabbed in his community’s house and brought to hospital, where he died from his wounds, according to the Fides news agency. An investigation is underway.

Fr. Landry was ordained a priest in 2016, and belonged to the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

He was the director of an institute for the blind in Beira, which offers help with education, rehabilitation, and social integration for the visually impaired.

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