Algerian hostages in northern Mali released: report

ALGIERS Sun Apr 8, 2012 1:33pm EDT

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ALGIERS (Reuters) - Seven Algerian diplomats taken hostage in rebel-held northern Mali have been released, Algeria's El Watan newspaper reported on it website on Sunday, citing its correspondent in Mali.

There was no immediate comment on the report from the Algerian authorities.

The diplomats were abducted late last week from the town of Gao, part of a swathe of territory in northern Mali now under the control of Tuareg-led separatists.

A spokesman for the separatists said an Islamist group with ties to the separatists was behind the abduction.

The hostages include Algeria's consul in Gao and six consular staff, according to the Algerian foreign ministry.

(Reporting by Christian Lowe; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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