Mali: Three European hostages and Malian politician Soumaila Cissé freed
Kidnapped Malian opposition leader Soumaila Cissé, French aid worker Sophie Pétronin and two Italian hostages have been released, according to Mali's presidency. Cissé was kidnapped in March of this year, while Pétronin had been held since December 2016. Their release follows a tense few days as reports the Malian authorities had freed scores of suspected jihadists over the weekend fuelled expectations of an imminent prisoner swap. It was unclear whether or not a ransom was paid for the four hostages.