A French security adviser seized by Islamist militants in Somalia has told the BBC how he escaped from his captors without a struggle while they slept.
Marc Aubriere was kidnapped from a hotel in the capital, Mogadishu, along with a colleague last month.
He told the BBC Somali Service that after fleeing his Hizbul-Islam captors he walked for five hours until he reached the presidential palace.
French foreign ministry officials say the second hostage is still being held.
I’m happy and I will soon see my family
The pair were part of a team who were in the country to train troops from the UN-backed interim government, which is battling Islamist rebels for control of the country.
Mr Aubriere described his immense relief at being free.
“Of course I feel better than one day ago. Yes I feel very well. I’m happy and I will soon see my family,” he said.
He said he had been well-treated and well-fed by his captors from the hard-line Islamist group Hizbul-Islam.
But he said was worried about his colleague, who the BBC’s Mohammed Olad Hassan in Mogadishu says is being held by another Islamist faction, al-Shabab.
Earlier reports said Mr Aubriere killed three militants as he fled, but he denied the claims.
“I escaped at midnight last night. The guards were very tired and sleepy. I didn’t kill anyone or injure anyone while escaping,” Mr Aubriere said.
France’s foreign ministry also denied any violence was used and other reports that he had been freed after a ransom was paid.
“Despite certain allegations and rumours, this happened without violence and France did not pay a ransom,” spokesman Eric Chevallier told reporters.
Al-Shabab and Hizbul-Islam control much of southern Somalia, but analysts say al-Shabab is known for being the more radical of the two groups.
Al-Shabab fighters care little for their public image and they have carried out killings on camera.
Both groups are said to have links to al-Qaeda and have been reinforced by foreign fighters.
Somalia has not had a functioning central government since 1991.
Moderate Islamist Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed was sworn in as president in January after UN-brokered peace talks.
He promised to introduce Sharia law but the hardliners accuse him of being a Western stooge.