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Cablegate: Niger: French Hostages Freed

VZCZCXRO4848
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHNM #0633 1790856
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270856Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY NIAMEY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4394
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0700
RUZEHAA/CDR USEUCOM INTEL VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

UNCLAS NIAMEY 000633

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER ASEC MOPS FR NG
SUBJECT: NIGER: FRENCH HOSTAGES FREED

REF: NIAMEY 629 AND PREVIOUS

1. The four French uranium workers kidnapped the morning of
June 22 (reftel) have been freed and repatriated to France.
The MNJ turned the three French men and one woman over to the
ICRC which transported them to Agadez by road on June 27.
They were flown to France that night.

2. The ICRC also facilitated the release of a Nigerien
citizen, Idris Wirghis. The GON claims that Wirghis had been
kidnapped by the MNJ, but the MNJ claims they had rescued him
from bandits. Wirghis has not made any public comments since
his release to clarify the matter.
ALLEN

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