Connect to share and comment

Hostages who got away

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The dramatic escape by French hostage Francis Collomp over the weekend after 11 months in captivity in Nigeria has several precedents. Here are some other escapes from the past 20 years.

- April 7, 2013: AFGHANISTAN. Pierre Borghi, an employee at the French humanitarian organisation Solidarites International, got away after being held in a Taliban-dominated area for more than four months.

Borghi lost a lot of weight and managed to squeeze through a small window in the barn where he was held before walking all night to reach a police station in Wardak province, southwest of Kabul.

French authorities had kept his kidnapping secret.

- March 15, 2012: PAKISTAN. A couple of Swiss tourists, Olivier David Och and Daniela Widmer, were kidnapped in July 2011 by Al-Qaeda affiliated Taliban militants in northwestern Pakistan.

They managed to escape at night and make it to an army post.

- August 26, 2009: SOMALIA: A French secret agent known as Marc Aubriere, kidnapped on July 14 by members of the Hizb al-Islam movement, was able to flee when his captors grew tired during fasting for the holy month of Ramadan.

His escape took five hours under the cover of darkness and he avoided gunfire from his captors before reaching the presidential palace in Mogadishu.

A raid was carried out in January 2012 to rescue another agent captured at the same time, known as Denis Allex, but it failed and he is believed to have been killed in the attempt.

- December 31, 2006: COLOMBIA. Former development minister Fernando Araujo, who was held for six years by militants from The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), took advantage of a Colombian army operation to escape.

A policeman, John Frank Pinchao, escaped in May 2007 from a FARC guerilla camp during a police sweep of the area. He was seized in November 1998.

In late October 2008, former Colombian deputy Oscar Tulio Lizcano fled with his jailer after being held since August 2000.

- September 19, 2000: PHILIPPINES. Two French journalists from the France 2 television network, Jean-Jacques Le Garrec and Roland Madura, escaped after being held since July 9 on Jolo island by Islamic militants from the Abu Sayyaf group.

They also took advantage of an army operation in the area to flee.

- October 20, 1997: CHECHNYA. Christophe Andre, a French national who worked with the aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), escaped after being in captivity for almost four months.

With help from local residents, Andre made it to the Chechen capital Grozny, a distance of around 40 kilometers (25 miles).

fm/wai/jom/vjf

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131118/hostages-who-got-away