Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Italian, Spanish hostages en route for Burkina -source

(Reuters) - Two Spaniards and an Italian freed by Islamists in northern Mali are due to arrive in neighboring Burkina Faso shortly, a security source involved in the operation said on Thursday.

The trio's departure from the Malian region of Gao, which is in the hands of a mix of Islamist groups linked to al Qaeda, was delayed on Wednesday by a sandstorm that prevented helicopters sent by Burkina Faso from picking them up.

"They will be in (the capital) Ouagadougou by midday (1200 GMT)," a Burkina Faso security source told Reuters, asking not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Burkina Faso is the region's main mediator for freeing Western hostages seized in the Sahara. Experts say multi-million dollar ransom payments are usually made though they are never confirmed by authorities.

There has been no official comment on the circumstances of the release of the aid workers, who were seized in a refugee camp near Tindouf, Algeria, last October. Read More