|President Francois Hollande and ministers welcome the former hostages home today
French nationals from Areva and contractor Vinci have been released after three years in captivity. They were kidnapped by Islamic militants near the Arlit uranium deposit in Niger.
Confirming freedom for Daniel Larribe, Pierre Legrand, Marc Feret and Thierry Dol, Areva CEO Luc Oursel said "This liberation is an immense joy for the families and for all the employees of Areva. These men have shown extraordinary courage. I would like to thank very warmly all who have contributed to their liberation."
Areva's Daniel Larribe and his wife Francoise were taken by armed men in the night of 15 September 2010 along with five workers from Vinci's Satom subsidiary. They were held by what has been described as the Islamic Mahgreb Al-Qaida group.
Three of the hostages, Francoise Larribe, Jean-Claude Rakotorilalao and Alex Awando, were released in February 2011. Freedom for the remaining four was announced yesterday by French President Francois Hollande.
Areva is the primary shareholder in the companies that manage two uranium mines in Niger's Arlit region and is also working to start operations at the Imouraren mine in 2015. Most of its employees in the country are Nigerien.
In May 2013 a terrorist car bomb damaged the mine plant at the Arlit deposit and killed one employee, also injuring 14.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News