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Official: French hostages seized in Mali are alive

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OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — A top official in Burkina Faso says an Islamist group has sent security forces a video to prove that the two French hostages they seized in Mali are still alive.

The official said late Saturday that the video was made in February but that they received it this week and have good contacts with the group. He says the kidnappers are from an Islamist group that has split from al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. The group, called the Unified Movement for Jihad in West Africa, has fought alongside jihadi groups in northern Mali.

The official, who asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said a recent rebellion in northern Mali is complicating the situation.

The two were seized in November in the remote town of Hombori.

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