Son of kidnapped French aid worker flying to Mali for her possible release

Sebastien Chadaud-Petronin (R), the son of French hostage who is held in Mali, Sophie Petronin, is comforted by former FARC hostage French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt at the end of a press conference in Paris, France, December 14, 2018. File photo
Sebastien Chadaud-Petronin (R), the son of French hostage who is held in Mali, Sophie Petronin, is comforted by former FARC hostage French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt at the end of a press conference in Paris, France, December 14, 2018. File photo
Image: REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

The son of French aid worker Sophie Petronin, who was kidnapped by jihadists in Mali in late 2016, said he was flying on Tuesday to the West African country ahead of her possible release.

Petronin, who is in her 70s, was set to be freed along with opposition leader Soumalia Cisse in exchange for the release of scores of suspected Islamist insurgents by the Malian authorities, three sources told Reuters on Monday.

In a message sent from onboard a commercial flight before take-off, Sebastian Chadaud-Petronin told Reuters he was travelling to Bamako but that he had no official confirmation of his mother's release.

Islamist gunmen abducted Petronin in December, 2016, in the northern Malian city of Gao, where she ran a charity for malnourished and orphaned children.  


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