French hostage escapes in Somalia, officials say

French hostage escapes in Somalia, officials say

The agent is safe in the presidential palace and "in a good mood," said the assistant information secretary of the presidential palace, Abdulkadir Hussein Wehliye.

The circumstances of the escape and the fate of the other captive were not immediately clear.

The French men were abducted in July from a hotel in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. They were in the country to train Somali government forces, which are fighting Islamist militiamen.

Militants had said the two would be tried under Islamic law for alleged spying and conspiracy against Islam.

Foreigners rarely travel to Somalia, which is among the most dangerous countries in the world. The country has not had a functioning government for 18 years since clan warlords overthrew a brutal socialist dictator then unleashed their militias on each other.
Kidnappings for ransom have been on the rise in recent years, with journalists and aid workers often targeted. The lawlessness also has allowed piracy to flourish off the coast, making the waterway one of the most dangerous in the world.