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.
Several Israelis were killed or wounded amid a rise in Palestinian attacks on Israelis as tension in the region mounts.
An Iraqi antiquities official confirmed the news, saying the destruction began after noon prayers on Thursday and that trucks that may have been used to haul away artefacts had also been spotted at the site.
Mogherini told a foreign policy conference in the Latvian capital that she was committed to bringing the Iranian nuclear talks to a positive end.
The postponement of the local elections is the second time they have been pushed back.
Navalny strikes defiant tone after murder of ally Nemtsov with plans to go to Nemtsov's grave later on Friday
The source said that the three injured - a woman and her daughter who hail from the slain girl's family as well as a young man - have undergone shrapnel removal surgeries
Kurdish and Iraqi sources say the extremist group also vandalised a historical site in the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud.
Kenya is home to 3 out of the world's 5 living northern white rhinos
The country's import bill hit $2.8 billion in 2014 against $1.3 billion in export earnings
Bipartisan letter urges Obama to use authorities previously given to him.
Dallas police are seeking two suspects in the shooting death of Ahmed Al-Jumaili, who recently emigrated from Iraq.
Israeli military spokesman Peter Lerner confirmed the attack, saying seven people were injured
Karti said that the preliminary agreement would be submitted to each of the three countries' presidents for review