French hostage released in Mali 3 years after capture

French hostage released in Mali 3 years after capture

PanARMENIAN.Net - A French hostage seized in Mali more than three years ago, Serge Lazarevic, has been released, French President Francois Hollande announced, according to BBC News.

Lazarevic was snatched in November 2011 along with fellow Frenchman Philippe Verdon. Militants from the al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) group killed Verdon last year in retaliation for France's intervention in Mali.

Hollande said there were no more French hostages waiting to be freed. The president added that Lazarevic was in "relatively good health" despite the conditions of his captivity.

AQIM kidnapped a number of Western hostages before the French military deployed its forces against the group in January 2013.

There were at one point at least 14 French nationals being held by Islamists in West Africa.

"There are no more French hostages in any country in the world," Hollande said.

 Top stories
The Prosecutor’s Office has released surveillance footage and said that one of the detainees in the case, Iveri Melashvili.
Destinations welcomed 900m fewer international tourists in January–October when compared with the same period of 2019.
Austrian authorities said at least one gunman remained on the run at 1am Vienna time on November 3.
Moderna’s proposed price would apply to the United States and other high-income countries.
Partner news