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Freed Al-Qaeda hostages leave Burkina Faso for Spain: AFP

Two hostages released by Al-Qaeda’s North African wing after nine months in captivity in Mali left for their native Spain on Monday after a brief stopover in Burkina Faso, an AFP journalist said.

Albert Vilalta and Roque Pascual, both visibly exhausted, spent less than two hours in Ouagadougou before they set off for home, accompanied by Spanish Secretary of State for Cooperation Soraya Rodriguez.

“Thank you, thank you very much everybody,” said Vilalta in French during a brief exchange of words with journalists at the airport.