Mali admitted Friday that prisoners had been freed in exchange for the release of French hostage Serge Lazarevic, confirming information given to AFP earlier this week by a security source in the west African country.
"It's a fact, everyone knows, there is no need to deny reality," Mohamed Ali Bathily told France 24 television in response to a question on the issue, just days after Lazarevic, who was kidnapped by Islamist militants in Mali in 2011, was freed.
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