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14 European Hostages Released in Mali


Fourteen European hostages have been released after a five month ordeal in the Sahara desert.

Nine Germans, four Swiss and a Dutch tourist have been released after a five months held by an Islamic fundamentalist group in the Sahara desert.

Their release comes at the end of a day of uncertainty over whether the kidnappers would be released Monday as promised. The German government has been reluctant to release details throughout the negotiation process.

The fourteen were part of a group of 32 European tourists who were kidnapped while touring the deserts of southern Algeria, known for its ancient burial sites.

Seventeen of the initial 32 hostages were freed in a raid by Algerian special forces. Since then, the remaining 14 hostages were held in unknown locations in neighboring Mali.

According to the government of Algeria, the kidnappers belong to a group called the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat who are fighting for a purist Islamist state in Algeria.

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