Four freed French hostages return home

Four French former hostages who were released after a three-year ordeal returned home on Wednesday amid speculation over an allegedly costly ransom. Follow the homecoming as it happened on FRANCE 24’s live blog.

  • Four Frenchmen who were held hostage for three years in Africa’s desert Sahel region by al Qaeda-linked militants returned home shortly before noon on Wednesday, with President François Hollande on hand to greet them at an army airbase with their families.
  • Thierry Dol, Daniel Larribe, Pierre Legrand and Marc Feret left Niger on a plane bound for France around 7am (0600 GMT) on Wednesday morning, less than 24 hours after their release was made public.
  • A leading French daily reported on Wednesday that France’s intelligence agency paid 20 million euros to their captors to secure their release, citing an unnamed source. The government swiftly denied the claim.
  • President Hollande said that the release of the four men was a source of “great joy” for France, but that he had not forgotten that seven other nationals were still being held captive elsewhere in the world.

Follow the homecoming of the four ex-hostages as it happened on our live blog from Wednesday below.

Smartphone and tablet users can view this live blog by clicking here.



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