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Mali's opposition chief Soumaila Cisse released after prisoner swap

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MICHELE CATTANI/AFP or licensors -

Mali

Mali's presidency on Thursday announced that opposition leader Soumaïla Cissé had been freed.

The announcement, over Twitter, added that Cisse was on his way back to the capital Bamako.

The news will likely warm the hearts of Cisse's supporters who have held rallies waiting for his arrival since reports of his release broke out days ago.

Cisse was campaigning ahead of a parliamentary vote in the north of the country when he disappeared in late March.

Reports said he was being held by armed groups. It is not clear if money was paid in exchange for Cisse's freedom. Analysts say his release is a plus for the country's new leaders.

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