Niger kidnappers and hostages in Mali: security sources

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The armed group that kidnapped five French nationals and two Africans in Niger has moved the hostages to the desert in Mali, security sources in Niger and Algeria said Friday.

They have "crossed the border" between Niger and Mali and are currently in the Malian desert, the sources told AFP.

Niger's army, with air support, has been deployed since Thursday in the area looking for the hostages in a bid to prevent them from being taken out of the country, a security source in Niger had said earlier Friday.

© 2010 AFP

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