“The Dutch hostage Sjaak Rijke, kidnapped in Timbuktu on November 25, 2011” was freed during “military action carried out by the French army’s special forces”, it said in a statement.
“This combat action has also led to the capture of several individuals,” added the ministry.
Gunmen had stormed into Rijke’s hotel capturing him as well as a South African and a Swede, both of whom are still being held.
In November 2014, AQIM released a video of Rijke making a statement on the 1,000th day of his captivity.
Also seen on the video was Frenchman Serge Lazarevic, who was later freed in a prisoner swap against four jihadists in Mali.