Our hostage Serge Lazarevic, our last hostage is free

‘Last French hostage’ Serge Lazarevic is released by Mali Islamists – three days after botched rescue attempt for Luke Somers



UnitedNoy LIV foundation Serge Lazarevic


The last French national being held hostage anywhere in the world has been released and is on his way home, President Francois Hollande has said.

Serge Lazarevic was a captive of al-Qaeda’s North African branch for more than three years, after he was taken prisoner in northern Mali alongside Philippe Verdon in November 2011. The worst had been feared for  Lazarevic after Verdon was found dead in July 2013.

The French President said Lazarevic was in “relatively good health” despite his years of captivity, and that he was being transported to Niger, whose help in securing the release warranted specific thanks from Hollande.

“Our hostage Serge Lazarevic, our last hostage is free,” Hollande told reporters on Tuesday. “There are no more French hostages in any country in the world.”

At one point, there were reported to be at least 14 French nationals held hostage by Islamic militants in west and north Africa.

The news of Lazarevic’s release comes just three days after the death of the British-born US journalist Luke Somers in a failed rescue attempt, and will put increased pressure on countries like the US and UK which refuse to negotiate with terrorists.


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