Spanish hostages freed in Mali return home through Burkina Faso

09:13, August 24, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

The two Spanish hostages freed in Mali are going home by way of neighboring Burkina Faso, according to reports reaching on Monday.

The Spanish government on Monday confirmed the release of Albert Vilaltra and Roque Pascual by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Bamako declined to make comments just before the confirmation by the Spanish government, saying negotiations were still going on to seek their release. A diplomat told Xinhua that the release could come to mark the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Reports monitored here said Spanish officials and the families of the hostages had arrived in Mali before the release at the border with Burkina Faso. The hostages would then arrive in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, in the afternoon to be flown to Spain hours later.

The release of Albert Vilaltra and Roque Pascual put an end to "a terrorist act that should never have taken place," Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said in a statement.

The two hostages, both working for non-governmental organization Barcelona Accio Solidaria (Barcelona Solidarity Action), were captured in November along with their female co- worker Alicia Gamez by AQIM. Gamez was released in March.

Vilaltra and Pascual were believed to have been held hostage by AQIM somewhere in the northern Mali desert.

Spanish media had reported on the release of the two aid workers prior to the statement of Zapatero, who did not comment on reports that Spain had paid 3.8 million euros (4.8 million dollars) for the freedom of the two aid workers.

The Spanish government told Spanish state television RTVE earlier that it had used every diplomatic avenue available to secure the release of the two men.

Source: Xinhua


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Photo taken on Sept. 28, 2011 shows autumn scenery of populus euphratica forests in Ejina Banner, north China's Inner Mongolia. The populus euphratica forests here, with an area of 390,000 mu, or 26,000 hectares, is one of the world's most famous populus euphratica forests. The golden leaves and sunshines here in autumn is able to attract more than 100,000 person-times annually. (Xinhua/Zhao Tingting)
  • A coser performs in the third Western China Animation Comic Game (ACG) Festival in Chongqing Municipality, Sept. 29, 2011. The festival includes activities such as cosplay show, Hip-pop competition, forum and exhibitions. (Xinhua/Li Jian)
  • Staff members watch a screen showing the blast-off of the Long March-2FT1 carrier rocket loaded with Tiangong-1 unmanned space lab module at Beijing Aerospace Control Center, Sept. 29, 2011. Commander-in-chief of China's manned space program Chang Wanquan announced Thursday night that the launch of Tiangong-1 space lab module was successful. (Xinhua/Wang Shen)
  • Chinese President Hu Jintao watches the launch of Tiangong-1 space lab module at Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 29, 2011. Other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, including Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Li Changchun, Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang and Zhou Yongkang, are also present. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)
  • The graphics shows the launch procedures of the carrier rocket of Tiangong-1 space lab module, Long March-2FT1 on Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Lu Zhe)
  • Image taken from Beijing Aerospace Control Center shows a Long March-2FT1 carrier rocket loaded with Tiangong-1 unmanned space lab module blasting off from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua)
Hot Forum Discussion