French ground forces are heading to northern Mali to fight Islamist rebels. A West African regional force is expected to join the conflict in the coming days, with logistical help from Germany.
Sjaak Rijke has been freed after nearly four years of captivity by a French military operation in the far north of Mali. Several militants have also been captured, the French defense ministry has said in a statement.
Violent conflicts are spreading throughout the Middle East. Germany is working with Egypt, supporting Saudi Arabia and delivering weapons to the peshmerga - but the government opposition in Berlin is critical.
Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel are in Ukraine with a proposal to end the civil war. As the German chancellor and French president arrived, John Kerry said Russia’s Vladimir Putin could end the conflict.
German police have arrested two people in Berlin following raids on numerous properties linked to radical Islamic Salafists. The searches began shortly after Belgium police killed two men in a similar police operation.