Hostage Francis Collomp describes escape in Nigeria

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A French engineer kidnapped by Islamist militants in northern Nigeria has told the BBC how he managed to escape two weeks ago.

Francis Collomp, 63, said he had studied the daily routine of his captors, and locked one in a bathroom as he was preparing to pray.

He said he then flagged down a motorcycle taxi and asked the driver to take him to a police station.

Mr Collomp was seized by the Ansaru group while working on a power project.

He was kidnapped on 19 December last year by armed men who attacked the residence of his employer, the French wind turbine manufacturer Vergnet, in the north Nigerian state of Katsina.

Ansaru, a militant group linked to the Islamist Boko Haram movement, said it had carried out the abduction.

‘I learned Hausa’
Speaking to the BBC World Service Newsday programme, Mr Collomp said his chance to escape came when he was transferred to Zaria city in Kaduna state.

Hostage francis“The big difference is that in this new villa there was not only myself but also a small bathroom. One of my captors was also using the same bathroom every day for his prayers. So he would come and after a while I was just taking record, taking notice of all his moves, his times, his routines. And I decided the best opportunity would be at the evening prayers. And one night he just forgot to close the door. He started

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