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Al Qaeda releases French hostage

world Updated: Feb 24, 2010 08:42 IST

A French citizen held captive for three months by al Qaeda's north African branch has been freed, the French government said on Tuesday.

The terrorist group al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb kidnapped Pierre Camatte from a hotel in the northern Mali town of Menaka, some 1500 km from the capital Bamako, in November.

His captors had threated to kill Camatte unless authorities in the west African nation released four prisoners.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy thanked Mali's President Amadou Toumani Toure in a telephone conversation for his "crisis management".