Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

François Hollande: "Brexit result is irrevocable"

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Hollande pledges tax cuts ahead of France's 2017 elections

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Britain's battle for leadership begins

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Istanbul's suffering in the shadows?

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Uganda: Opposition leader in court on treason charges

Read more

THE DEBATE

Turkey targeted: Terror attack coincides with foreign policy pivot (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Turkey targeted: Islamic State group blamed for Istanbul attack (part 1)

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

" We have a lot that we can do together to make Middle East a better place"

Read more

FOCUS

Will Bolivia see a lithium boom?

Read more

Africa

French hostage tells of escape from kidnappers

Video by Nicolas GERMAIN

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-27

French security agent Marc Aubrière told French radio RFI that he escaped Hezb al-Islam, the Somali insurgent group holding him hostage, by slipping out when his guards were asleep and finding safety with African Union soldiers.

AFP - A French agent told Wednesday of how he sneaked past his Somali kidnappers as they slept then walked by night for five hours across Mogadishu, at one point coming under fire, according to RFI radio.
   
"I'm doing OK and, even if my month and a half in detention was horribly long, I was well treated. There was no torture, nor fake execution," the former hostage, who gave his name as Marc, told Radio France International.
   

"On Tuesday, around midnight, I took advantage of my jailers falling asleep, tired out by Ramadan. I saw that my cell was badly closed and so I was able to make off without any violence," he said, according to a transcript provided by RFI.
   
"In any case, if I'd fired a shot, other guards would have killed me. Then I walked through the night for almost five hours, guided by the stars to get to where I wanted to go," he said.
   
"Mogadishu is deserted at night and the only men I saw were armed. I was shot at. I ran. I hid and by chance they missed me," he said.
   
The station said their correspondent had been able to "get in contact" with the hostage, who was safely under the protection of African Union troops.
   
Two French government agents, whom French authorities said were in Somalia to train a unit of the federal government's presidential guard, were kidnapped on July 14 from their Mogadishu hotel.
   
One of the men, who a French spokesman said was in the hands of the Hezb al-Islam Islamist militia after the hostages were separated, managed to get away and arrived Wednesday at the Somali presidential palace.
   
"Despite certain allegations and rumours this happened without violence and France did not pay a ransom," French foreign ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier told reporters in Paris.
   
The escaped man told RFI that his Hezb al-Islam captors had given him a copy of bestselling author Dan Brown's thriller "Deception Point", and joked that he had been able to read it a dozen times during his ordeal.
 

Date created : 2009-08-26

COMMENT(S)