The 13 adults and 26 children had been used as slaves in remote mountain communities.
When in the past European governments have paid ransoms of whatever kind to free their nationals, they have been accused of letting the side down.
Shots were fired during a car chase and at least one hostage taken in Paris as the search for the gunmen who attacked the paper's officers heightened.
Five people fled a central Sydney cafe where a gunman is holding terrified hostages after displaying an Islamic flag at the window.
Kidnappers hold a ?family to ransom ?in a tense and ?complex drama.
Al-Qaeda has released a new video of seven foreign hostages, including South African Stephen McGowan, urging negotiations for their release.
Al-Qaeda-linked fighters have killed two people in Algeria, taking more than 40 foreign hostages, while French troops battled Islamist rebels in Mali.
The US has confirmed that American citizens are among hostages being held in Algeria after an attack by Islamist militants near a southern gas field.
Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab has said they have decided the "fate" of a French intelligence agent they have held since 2009.
A gunman has killed four hostages in south-west Germany before shooting himself while resisting eviction from his apartment building.
A Filipino wildlife photographer was seized with two tourists during a bird-watching trip. He tells the story of his escape from his captors hands.
Suspected al-Qaeda kidnappers killed two young French hostages in 'cold blood' during a failed rescue operation in the deserts of Niger.
Half-a-dozen children were released safely on Monday after being held hostage by a teenager armed with two swords at a nursery in France.
Up to half-a-dozen children were held hostage by a 17-year-old youth armed with swords at a nursery school in the French city of Besancon on Monday.
Two journalists from Canada and Australia flew out of Somalia on Thursday at the end of a 15-month hostage ordeal.
Two more hostages from a group of Britons kidnapped in Baghdad two years ago are "very likely" dead, reports said on Wednesday.
Four hostages who work for a service company in the oil industry have been freed off southern Cameroon's Bakassi peninsula, sources said on Tuesday.
Thousands of Yemenis marched on Wednesday in protest at the killing of three foreign hostages as security forces expanded the search for six others.
A would-be hijacker surrendered to authorities on Monday after agreeing to free the last of more than 180 hostages he seized hours earlier aboard jet.