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Three Red Cross workers missing in Mali are 'free and safe'

Three Red Cross workers missing in Mali are 'free and safe'

Mali

Three workers with International Committee of the Red Cross who went missing in northern Mali last week are free and in good condition, the president of the Geneva-based organisation said on Friday.

“The best news we could get: our three colleagues in Mali are free, safe and sound,” said Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross on his Twitter account.

The three Red Cross staff were abducted while returning from a mission in Abeibara in the north of Kidal by Tuareg jihadist group Ansar Dine.

The militant group had earlier demanded the release of its leader, Nourredine Mohammed in exchange for the aid workers.

Mohammed is being held by the French forces who are supporting the fight against Islamists groups operating in the Sahel region.

Several armed groups have been active in northern Mali since the area fell to al-Qaeda affiliated groups in 2012.

The French-led operation Barkhane has since its establishment in 2014 been on the offensive against terrorist groups operating in the Sahel region.