After more than 14 months in the hands of al-Qaeda affiliated Algerian rebels, Italian tourist Mariasandra Mariani has been freed.
Her parents are overjoyed, and find it almost hard to believe.
“If you tell me she’s free, I’ll believe you,” said her father, Lido.
“So it’s true. But where is she now? Where? Free! I thought I’d never hear this word,” said mother Fiammetta.
News of the release came from the Italian Foreign Ministry in Rome:
“A diplomatic effort has been going on with several governments in the region and with the continual understanding of the necessity to prioritise the safety of the hostage…of a human life,” said Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi.
The 53 year-old was kidnapped in the southern Sahara, south of the regional capital Djanet, in February 2011.