Four French hostages kidnapped in Niger have been freed after three years in captivity.
Thierry Dol, Marc Feret, Daniel Larribe and Pierre Legrand were working for French nuclear firm Areva when they were abducted in 2010. Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed responsibility.
The French government did not immediately disclose details about the conditions of the release, but denied that a ransom was paid.
France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian were in Miamey to greet the men and accompany them home.
Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou said: “I’m happy for the hostages, they have their freedom after long months of imprisonment.”
The elated mother of freed hostage Marc Feret spoke to her son on the telephone, saying: “I’ll take off the amulet I’ve been wearing since you were taken. A kiss until tomorrow, when I’ll see you.”