06 Apr '15, 7pm

French forces free Dutch hostage in Mali

Map of al Qaeda-linked attacks in Mali and Niger since 2014. Map created by Caleb Weiss for The Long War Journal . French special forces freed Dutch captive Sjaak Rijke in an operation in northern Mali. Rijke, along with Swedish and South African nationals, were captured in Timbuktu in 2011 by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al Qaeda’s official branch in North Africa. The special operations raid in northern Mali was originally targeting AQIM militants before the French forces found Rijke. According to the BBC , the presence of Rijke caught the French special operators by surprise. It was only after the fighting was over did they realize the militants were holding the Dutch hostage, the news site said. The French defense ministry has said that Rijke is in good health and has been transferred to a French military base in Tessalit in northern Mali. The other two men c...

Full article: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2015/04/french-for...

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