This Article is From May 19, 2014

France Calls for 'Immediate' Release of Mali Hostages

France Calls for 'Immediate' Release of Mali Hostages

A picture taken on May 17, 2014 shows an helicopter of the French army escorting a vehicule transporting Mali's Prime Minister Moussa Mara from Gao to Kidal. Eight soldiers and 28 insurgents were killed in fighting on May 17 outside the regional governor'

Paris: French President Francois Hollande on Monday demanded the release of top civil servants and others taken hostage in Mali's north after deadly clashes between separatists and the army.

Hollande called for the "immediate and unconditional release of Kidal's administrator and the hostages," during telephone talks with his Malian counterpart Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, a statement said, referring to the northern town where Saturday's clashes took place.

Hollande called "for light to be shed on the murders and the unacceptable violence committed during the visit of the Malian prime minister to Kidal."

The fighting during Prime Minister Moussa Mara's visit to the desert town claimed the lives of eight soldiers and 28 insurgents.