Last French hostage Lazarevic arrives back from Mali

Last French hostage Lazarevic arrives back from Mali

France’s last remaining hostage, Serge Lazarevic, has arrived home to a welcome from family members and French President Francois Hollande.

The 51-year-old was flown into a military airport outside Paris.

Mr Lazarevic was snatched in Mali in November 2011 with fellow Frenchman Philippe Verdon. Mr Vernon was killed by militants from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) last year.

Mr Hollande says there are no more French hostages anywhere in the world.

The French government has repeatedly denied paying ransoms for the release of captives.

Mr Lazarevic was greeted by his daughter and other relatives, as well as Mr Hollande and French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, after his plane touched down at the Villacoublay military airport on Wednesday.

In his first words on French soil, he said how wonderful it was to regain his freedom. “When you’re on the verge of death, you think more about life,” he said.




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