Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

Read more

#THE 51%

World War One: The war that changed women’s lives

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Ségolène Royal goes for green

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

A look back at some of the Observers' best stories

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll tops 700

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Dozens of youths trampled to death on Conakry beach

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Renault's women drivers ad deemed sexist

Read more

  • Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

    Read more

  • Live: Israeli soldier feared captured, ceasefire 'over'

    Read more

  • Ugandan court strikes down anti-gay legislation

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • French hospital to open wine bar for terminally ill patients

    Read more

  • €2.5 million in cocaine ‘disappears’ from Paris police HQ

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Ukrainian army suffers losses in separatist attack

    Read more

  • Dozens killed and injured in Taiwan gas blast

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • Sierra Leone declares state of emergency over spread of Ebola

    Read more

  • France remembers murdered socialist hero Jean Jaurès

    Read more

Africa

Kidnappers release six foreigners, including two French nationals

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-08-11

Somali kidnappers have freed six foreigners, including two French nationals, two Kenyans, one Bulgarian and a Belgian, who were seized in November 2008 in central Somalia, a Mogadishu airport official said.

The French NGO Action Contre la Faim (ACF) confirmed on Tuesday that Somali kidnappers had released six foreigners seized in November last year in central Somalia. ACF stated in a press release that the victims are “apparently all in good health, they’ll have medical check-ups.”

 

The victims comprised four ACF aid workers (two French nationals, a Belgian and a Bulgarian) and their two Kenyan pilots. According to an ACF spokeswoman, the four aid workers boarded a plane and were flown to safety out of Somalia.

 

The gunmen snatched the six on November 5 as they were trying to leave the airstrip in Dhusa Mareb, an Islamist stronghold in central Somalia, to fly to Nairobi, Kenya. Witnesses had said the aid workers were escorted by five or six security guards when they tried to board a plane but that they were easily overpowered by about 20 heavily-armed men.

 

There is no word yet as to the circumstances of the prisoners’ release.

 

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in a written statement that he “rejoices and expresses his immense relief” at the news, adding that he reaffirmed “his determination to struggle against these criminal acts.”

 

The ACF has been present in Somalia since 1992.

 

Somalia has been without a stable government for two decades, and has been mired in violent, internecine clashes between the government and various Islamist groups. It is considered one of the world’s most dangerous nations for international aid workers.

 

 

Date created : 2009-08-11

COMMENT(S)