Who are the four freed French hostages?
Who are the four French hostages freed after three years in captivity in Niger on Tuesday? FRANCE 24 takes a closer look at Thierry Dol, Daniel Larribe, Pierre Legrand and Marc Féret.
Thierry Dol, Daniel Larribe, Pierre Legrand and Marc Féret, the four French hostages freed on Tuesday, were kidnapped at a uranium mine in Arlit, in the north of Niger, on 16 September 2010. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility for their kidnapping.
Dol, 32, was born in Le François, in Martinique, but is now based in France working for Vinci construction as a works engineer. Dol, bottom right in the photo above, is an only child from a modest background. He was close to the end of his contract in Africa and was about to move to the Paris region when he was kidnapped. In a video recorded while in captivity on June 27, he said that he "suffered from a heart condition that required medication."
Féret, 46, was born in Aix-en-Provence in the south of France. Féret, top right in the photo, spent 15 years as a child in Africa where his father worked for Areva, the French nuclear power company, in mines in Gabon and Congo. Féret studied electrical engineering in France before joining Vinci and working in Madagascar and the Seychelles. He is married and has two sons. The oldest is 13. The second, who he is about to see for the first time, is three. At the time of his kidnapping he was working for Sogea-Satom (a subsidiary of Vinci, which is a sub-contractor for Areva) at the uranium mine at Arlit.
Larribe, 62, is originally from Saint-Céré, in the centre of France. Larribe, bottom left in the photo, worked in Africa frequently for 30 years and for eight years as an engineer at the French geological survey office in Orléans before joining Areva. His wife Françoise Larribe, who was kidnapped at the same time, along with a Togolese and a Malagasy was freed in February 2011 due to poor health. In May, Mme Larribe demanded "results" from the authorities saying: "We are approaching 1,000 days of detention. That’s enough."
Legrand, 28, is originally from Couffé in the west of France. Legrand, top left in the photo, met his fiancée, Marion Bondu, when they were both at high school in Nantes. He was employed by a subsidiary of Vinci. He and was working at an Areva uranium mine in Imouraren, 80 kilometers from Arlit. He was passing through Arlit en route to France for a holiday when he was kidnapped.
(FRANCE 24 with wires)