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Kidnapped family of 7 freed

Published: Friday, April 19 2013 10:39 p.m. MDT

French President Francois Hollande  speaks at the Elysee Palace in Paris , Friday, April 19, 2013. A French family with four young children kidnapped at gunpoint by Islamic extremists while vacationing in northern Cameroon has been freed after two months in captivity, Cameroonian and French authorities said Friday. Hollande said authorities were able to make contact with the kidnappers through intermediaries, and negotiations intensified in recent days. French President Francois Hollande speaks at the Elysee Palace in Paris , Friday, April 19, 2013. A French family with four young children kidnapped at gunpoint by Islamic extremists while vacationing in northern Cameroon has been freed after two months in captivity, Cameroonian and French authorities said Friday. Hollande said authorities were able to make contact with the kidnappers through intermediaries, and negotiations intensified in recent days. "We use all our contacts, but remain firm on our principles,"Hollande said. "We are not changing the principle that France does not pay ransoms." (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon) (Associated Press)

YAOUNDE, Cameroon — A French family with four young children kidnapped at gunpoint by Islamic extremists in northern Cameroon was freed after two months of captivity in what the father described as especially harsh conditions following the group's return Friday to safety in the Cameroonian capital.

Cameroonian television showed the family of seven — four children, their parents and their uncle — stepping off an airplane, a man who had grown a thick beard carrying the smallest child. All appeared thin, but walked steadily.

Officials from France and Cameroon offered no details on how the family was freed overnight, and it was not clear whether there were concessions to the kidnappers.

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