Canadian diplomat freed in Mali

Robert Fowler was one of six hostages captured in Niger last December

Robert Fowler, the Canadian diplomat who was kidnapped more than four months ago during a visit to a gold mine in Niger, has been released along with his assistant, Louis Guay. According to a report published last month in an Algerian newspaper, the North African arm of al Qaeda had requested 20 of its members be freed from prisons in Mali and elsewhere in exchange for the release of Fowler, Guay, and four other western hostages. So far, four of the six hostages have been released—Fowler, Guay, as well as a German and a Swiss hostage. Their release comes nearly a month after officials in Mali announced they had captured the main suspect in Fowler’s disappearance.

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