FRANCE: End of an Ordeal

There were times in her crushing solitude when she despaired of maintaining sanity. She endured for weeks under the threat of execution by her captors. At one point she was convinced that her country had abandoned her. But last week the long nightmare ended for French Archaeologist Françoise Claustre, 39. After 33 months as a political prisoner of rebel tribesmen in the remote Tibesti desert of northern Chad, Claustre was handed over, exhausted but unharmed, to French officials in Tripoli. Her rescuer: none other than Libya's mercurial leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

At a...

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