A French family of seven kidnapped in a nature park near the Nigerian border in February has been released, French and Cameroonian officials said today.
Tanguy Moulin-Fournier, an employee of the French gas group Suez, his wife Albane, their four children, aged between 5 and 12, and Tanguy’s brother, Cyril, were kidnapped by members of Islamic extremist group Boko Haram on Feb. 19.
Nigerian-based Boko Haram demanded the release of prisoners in exchange for the hostages’ freedom, the New York Times reported.
More from GlobalPost: Kidnapped French family not freed in Cameroon
Cameroon did not release any details of how the hostages were released, but offered thanks to Nigeria and France.
French President Francois Hollande insisted no ransom had been paid to secure their release.
Gérard Mestrallet, the chief executive of GDF Suez, told French radio station RTL that the family had not been freed in a “military operation,” the New York Times reported.
"We are all very tired but normal life will now resume," Tanguy said in Yaounde today, according to Agence France-Presse. "The conditions in which we were held were very difficult, it was extremely hot. But we did not have any serious problems. We are alive and we are infinitely happy to be free.”
Eight other French citizens are being held hostage in the Sahel region south of the Sahara, according to Hollande.
—Agence France-Presse contributed to this report.