Five kidnapped Malian aid workers freed

April 18, 2014 - 5:20:44 am

MALI: French forces have freed five Malian aid workers who were taken hostage in a February kidnapping claimed by one of the country’s top jihadist groups, the presidents of France and Mali said yesterday.

“An operation by the French armed forces” freed the five workers — four Red Cross employees and a veterinarian from another aid organisation — after “a terrorist group” kidnapped them on February 8 in Mali’s restive north, the presidents said in a joint statement.

The hostages are in good health after the morning raid north of Timbuktu, the statement said. The kidnapping was claimed by the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), a splinter group of Al-Qaeda’s regional franchise.