Pretoria, South Africa
South Africa has freed the 44 alleged mercenaries who arrived in a hijacked airliner last week after a gun battle in the Seychelles. Only five of the men, released on bail, face kidnapping charges in the hijacking.
Meanwhile, the Seychelles government paraded before the press two of the five white mercenaries it says it captured. Seychelles President Albert Rene, who took control of the Indian Ocean island group in a 1977 coup, accuses South Africa of aiding what he calls the coup attempt and has asked that the 44 be returned to the Seychelles.