Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci said here on Sunday recent information on Algerian diplomats abducted in north Mali showed that they were in a safe place. Speaking to reporters following a parliament session, Medelci said: "According to recent information, the Algerian diplomats (kidnapped in Mali) are in a safe place." But, he declined to reveal any further details on the issue. An armed group of the Movement for Tawhid and Jihad in West Africa had claimed responsibility for abducting seven Algerian diplomats from the Algerian consulate in north Mali. On July 15, 2012, the group set free three diplomats, but kept the other four in captivity. In January 2013, the kidnapped diplomats appeared in a video calling on Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika to intervene to free them. Meanwhile, Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said his country was seeking to protect its borders with Mali in order to prevent militants from crossing into Algeria.