NIGER

Four French hostages released in Niger (live blog)

AFP

Four French hostages, Thierry Dol, Daniel Larribe, Pierre Legrand and Marc Féret, held in Niger since being abducted in 2010, have been released, French President François Hollande said Tuesday.

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  • Four Frenchmen taken hostage by Islamic extremists in Niger -- Pierre Legrand, Thierry Dol, Marc Féret and Daniel Larribe -- were released on Tuesday after three years of captivity and a French-led military intervention in the region that destabilized al Qaeda-linked radicals.
  • French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian have traveled to Niamey to bring the four Frenchmen home. Speaking from there on French TV, Fabius said the freed captives are “in good shape”. They are expected to return to France Wednesday morning.
  • Le Drian denied in an interview with TF1 television that any ransom was paid. “We don’t play that game,” he said. He also said that no violence was used to obtain the release.
  • The four freed Frenchmen were captured in September 2010 by the North African wing of al Qaeda and spirited from their dormitories in the town of Arlit, Niger, where the French nuclear company Areva operates a uranium mine.
  • Seven French hostages are still being held in other countries: two in the Sahel region, where Mali and Niger are located; one in Nigeria; and four in Syria.

See our blog below to follow events as they happened.

 

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