“Life is beautiful when you are free again,” former hostage Serge Lazarevic declared on his return to France on Wednesday morning.
A French legionnaire has been killed in a suicide attack in northern Mali, the ninth soldier to have died since the French intervention there in 2013.
A French Mirage fighter jet has crashed in Niger on its return from a mission in Mali. The crew of two suffered no injuries, according to the French military.
France has called for an immediate ceasefire in the town of Kidal in northern Mali.
France is to delay plans to redeploy troops in northern Mali to other countries in the Sahel region following the weekend’s clashes between Tuareg separatists and Malian troops.