Niger's prime minister says seven hostages nabbed last month from a mining town in the north of the country and held by al-Qaida's North African affiliate are alive.
Mahamadou Danda told RFI radio that "the good news is that they're alive and the mechanisms aimed at getting them out of there have been activated."
The hostages _ five French nationals, a Togolese and a Madagascan _ were kidnapped on Sept. 16 while they were sleeping in their villas in the uranium mining town of Arlit.
Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb has claimed responsibility for the abductions and is believed to have taken the hostages to neighboring Mali.
Danda said in the interview broadcast Sunday that the group has not communicated its demands.