Four young French soldier, held prisoner for ten months by the National Liberation Front army in Algeria, were handed over the Red Cross October 20 in Tunis for repatriation.
GV.PAN INTERIOR. MEMBER OF RED CROSS (TUNISIAN) SPEAKING. F.L.N. RELEASED PRISONERS SEATED.
SV. RED CROSS MEMBER SPEAKING.
Side V. F.L.N. RELEASED PRISONERS.
CU. TYPE. RELEASED PRISONER.
LV. RED CROSS MEMBER WEARING FEZ (ALGERIAN) SPEAKING.
LV. RED CROSS MEMBER SPEAKING.
SV. SPEAKER TO F.L.N. PRISONER.
GV. MEETING AND HAND SHAKING.
G.V. BUILDING TUNIS.
L.V. PLANE OF TARMAC.
G.V. F.L.M. MEN TOWARDS FROM BUILDING.
L.V. WALKING TOWARDS.
S.V. WALKING TOWARDS PLANE.
BACK V. MEN INTO PLANE.
S.V. GROUP OF PEOPLE.
L.V. PROPELLERS STARTING.
S. BACK V. PLANE AWAY.
Initials JRG/CW JWH/VCW J.H./R.L.
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Background: Four young French soldier, held prisoner for ten months by the National Liberation Front army in Algeria, were handed over the Red Cross October 20 in Tunis for repatriation.
The four were handed over at a meeting of Algerian Tunisian and French Red Cross officials, a representative of the new-formed "Free Algeria Government" in exile and French military personnel.
Some observers interpreted the release of the four soldiers as a manoeuvre by the Free Algeria Government to foster negotiations with the French Government on Algeria where the four year old rebellion continued its bloody course.
However, a French Government spokesman in Paris denied weekend reports of any plan to negotiate with the "Free Algeria Government," added to do so would imply recognition of the nationalists as a government representing the Algerian people.
The same day as the soldiers' release, the French Supreme Commander in Algeria, General Raoul Salan announced ten nationalist prisoners would be freed soon.
Announcement of the French gesture came at a time when the routine news bulletin from the French Army HQ in Algeria put nationalist losses at 643 during last week. It added 18 nationalist voluntarily surrendered to the French forces.