Languages
Page last updated at 14:50 GMT, Friday, 31 October 2008

Austrian hostages freed in Mali

Map

Two Austrian hostages held for eight months by Islamic militants in the Sahara desert have been freed, officials in Mali and Austria say.

Andrea Kloiber, 43, and Wolfgang Ebner, 51, disappeared in February while on holiday in Tunisia.

The North African branch of al-Qaeda said it had seized them.

Mali's government said the two were now "free and under the protection of the Malian army". The statement was later confirmed by the Austrian authorities.

The exact circumstances of the pair's release are not clear.

According to statements posted on the internet earlier this year, the kidnappers demanded the release of militants held in Algeria and Tunisia.

There were also reports of ransom demands.

In Vienna, Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik said a plane was on its way to Mali to fly the two home.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Tricky dealings in hostage case
28 Mar 08 |  Africa


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific