A Malian parliament member says three European aid workers kidnapped more than a week ago from Algeria are now in Mali.
Ibrahim Ag Mohamed Assaleh said Monday the hostages are being held by a faction of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM.
Gunmen kidnapped the aid workers _ two Spaniards and an Italian _ from a refugee camp in Algeria just before midnight on Oct. 22. The Algeria-based Polisario movement, which seeks independence for Western Sahara, operates the camp.
The governments of Algeria, Mauritania, Mali and other countries in the region are struggling against AQIM, which sprang from an Algerian Muslim extremist movement and has spread throughout swaths of the sparsely populated Sahara Desert.