ALGIERS - Seven Algerian diplomats abducted by Islamist rebels in northern Mali in April have been freed, an Algerian security source said on Friday, a move that could ease tension along the volatile border.

"They are all safe and should be back home very soon," the source said, adding that the seven consisted of a consul and six consular staff who were based in Mali.

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Security officials in Algeria do not normally speak on the record and there was no immediate confirmation from the Algerian government.