Kidnapped Algerian diplomats freed in north Mali, report
The seven Algerian diplomats kidnapped in northern Mali have been freed, according to the Algiers-based El Watan newspaper. Earlier a breakaway Islamist militia claimed responsibility for their capture.
Algerian consul Boualem Sias, five of his staff and the representative of the Algerian community in Gao, the city where they were captured, were freed mid-morning Sunday, the paper says.
Earlier a radical breakaway from Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim), the Movement for Unity and Jihad in Westa Africa (Mujoa), said it had kidnapped the Algerians.
In December 2011 Mujoa claimed responsibility for the capture of two Spaniards and an Italian in west Algeria and it says that it is still holding them.
Other developments in Mali on Sunday include:
Tuareg separatists on Friday declared the north a separate state named Azawad but Islamist groups appear to have taken control of the major towns in the region.