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Swiss hostage is freed by al Qaeda captors

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-12

Werner Greiner, (left of photo) a Swiss hostage abducted in Niger on January 22, was freed in northern Mali by al Qaeda's north African branch on Sunday, say local authorities. He was the last of six kidnapped Westerners to be freed.

AFP - A Swiss hostage kidnapped in January by Al-Qaeda's north African branch was freed Sunday in northern Mali, an official said.
  
"The Swiss hostage has been freed, he is very tired, and will soon be reunited with his family, after first passing through Bamako," a source close to local authorities in the north told AFP.
  
He was freed in the Gao desert region of northern Mali.
  
Werner Greiner, who was abducted in Niger on January 22, was the last western hostage still being held by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM) out of six Westerners it kidnapped in the Sahel region in December and January.
  
On May 31 the extremist group killed British hostage Edwin Dyer as London would not meet its demands.
  
A convoy of Malian troops left Timbuktu on Friday to hunt down Al-Qaeda militants after President Amadou Toumani Toure announced an all-out fight against the group.
  
According to the army, dozens of people were killed on July 4 in the deadliest clashes yet reported in the northwestern desert region between Mali soldiers and Al-Qaeda fighters.
  

Date created : 2009-07-12

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