A Spanish priest has been murdered by suspected jihadists in Burkina Faso.
Antonio César Fernández, a Salesian priest who served in the province of French West Africa, was returning from a meeting in Lome, Togo, when his car was attacked at a checkpoint.
According to the head of the Salesian order, Jose Elegbede, he and two others were 'attacked by gunmen after crossing the border between Togo and Burkina Faso'
'After searching the car, they pulled Cesar from the group and the men shot him,' Elegbede added.
The order announced Fernandez' death on Twitter saying, 'Alas, the hour of martyrs. A tragic death has struck the Salesian Congregation in Africa.'
Salesian Rector Major D. Angel Fernandez wrote that he was 'A good man and a man of God who, like the Lord, passed through life "doing good", above all in his beloved African people.' He said: 'Antonio César joins many other martyrs of the Church of today in the world.'
Antonio Fernandez was 72 years old and had belonged to the Salesian Order for 55 years, 46 of them as a priest. He served in the community of Ouagadougou, where he was a parish priest.
In a video shared by the order, Fernandez said his vocation was 'a gift of the Lord' and that through his work with young people he had received 'many graces from the Lord'.
Alas, the hour of martyrs. A tragic death has struck the Salesian Congregation in Africa. Our beloved confrere Antonio César Fernández, of the AFO , was shot dead in an ambush by jihadist assassins yesterday, Friday, February 15, 2019, after 3 PM. pic.twitter.com/BBgGTxpb5t— SalesianiNfoAgency (@infoANS_EN) February 16, 2019