FRANCE: LAST FRENCH HOSTAGE FREED BY AL-QAEDA AFTER THREE YEARS OF CAPTIVITY ‘

#AceNewsServices – FRANCE:Dec.10- Serge Lazarevic, the last French hostage held in Africa, arrived in France on Wednesday morning, France 24 said.

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‘ Serge Lazarevic, the last French hostage held in Africa ‘

He was released the previous day, following more than three years in captivity in Mali.

The Paris-based businessman, 50, who has dual French and Serbian citizenship, travelled to France from Niamey, the capital of Niger.

David Thomson, a journalist for the French international radio station RFI and a specialist in Islamist groups, told Le Monde it was probable that a ransom had been paid and an exchange of prisoners agreed for the hostage’s release.

Lazarevic was kidnapped by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, in the Malian town of Hombori on November 24, 2011.

Lazarevic, who holds French and Serbian nationality, was kidnapped along with a second Frenchman, Philippe Verdon, whom he was accompanying on a business trip, in northern Mali in November 2011.

A group of armed men burst into their hotel rooms and snatched them, claiming they were working for French intelligence services.

Verdon was found dead in July 2013 having been shot in the head.

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#al-qaeda, #freed, #hostage