World Bulletin/News Desk
Seven Algerian diplomats abducted by rebels in northern Mali in April have been freed, an Algerian security source and a Malian Islamist source said on Friday, a move that could ease tension along the volatile border.
"They are all safe and should be back home very soon," the security source said, adding that the seven consisted of a consul and six consular staff who were based in Mali.
Security officials in Algeria do not normally speak on the record and there was no confirmation from the government.
But, contacted by telephone, a source from the Ansar al-Dine group now controlling much of northern Mali said the diplomats were all "free and safe".
Algeria said in April that its diplomats were kidnapped from Gao, part of a swathe of territory in northern Mali then under the control of Tuareg-led separatists who had pushed out the military in a rebellion launched in January.
A Malian security source in Bamako and an Islamist fighter in the northern town of Gao, both of whom asked not to be named, confirmed earlier that at least three hostages had been freed but could not say whether the other four were also going home.
Western and African governments are struggling to muster a response to the crisis as politicians in the capital Bamako continue to squabble over how the country should be governed after a coup removed the president in March.
Algeria shares a border with Mali. Analysts and sources say Algeria is concerned about the turmoil in Mali but is reluctant to intervene lest it become embroiled in a lengthy and messy cross-border conflict.
Thursday’s vote make Diaz-Canel first person outside Castro family to rule country in almost 60 years
Syrian regime had no clear picture of what was happening to them, says U.S. general, referring to U.S.-led joint attack
Hamas, Islamic Jihad announced plans earlier to boycott scheduled meeting of PLO’s National Council
Canadian provinces at war over future delivery of oil to Pacific countries
Terrorists killed during operations in Saladin governorate
Decision follows Ecuador’s withdrawal as mediator in talks between Bogota and rebel group
The economic damage of trade war will be smaller than its perceived risk, experts say
Top court says in 5-4 decision federal statute is 'unconstitutionally vague'
'Both chlorine and sarin gas were used in the attack,' says State Department spokesperson
Move ‘is just one step in a journey that requires dedication,’ says coffee chain’s CEO
Turkish Air Force targets Zap region in northern Iraq, according to military
German foreign minister calls for reviving political talks after US-led airstrikes on Assad regime
Over $300 million worth of weapons and equipment will go to US allies in Syria if approved by Congress
The Japanese prime minister will make his second visit to Trump's ostentatious Palm Beach, Florida estate, when the focus will be on trade and security.
Still no explanation for illnesses experienced by Canadians, Americans
The ruling comes as the social network is snared in a scandal over the mishandling of 87 million users' data ahead of the 2016 US presidential election.