Dutch national held hostage since 2011 rescued from terrorists in Mali

Paris: French special forces on Monday rescued a Dutch national held hostage in Mali by militants of the Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb group since 2011.

The hostage, identified as Sjaak Rijke, who was kidnapped from the Malian city of Timbuktu, was rescued in an operation, during which several terrorists were also apprehended, according to the French defence ministry.

The ministry said in a statement that Rijke was currently safe in a military base in the Tessalit village.

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian informed his Dutch counterpart, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, of the operation's success, the statement added.

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