A French rescue worker who was captured in Mali has been released after approximately four years in captivity, the Malian president’s office published Thursday.
Armed Islamist extremists kidnapped Sophie Pétronin in the city of Gao in December 2016. Pétronin, now 75, was running a charity for children suffering from malnutrition.
Malian politician Soumaïla Cissé was likewise released after being caught for nearly seven months, the country’s president’s office said in a tweet.
France’s President Emmanuel Macron was “immensely relieved” to learn of Pétronin’s release, according to a statement issued by the French government.
“The President of the Republic especially thanks to the Malian authorities for this release,” the statement said. “He assures them of France’s entire will to support Mali in the fight it is waging with perseverance against terrorism.”