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North African al-Qaida group says 8 European hostages are safe despite earlier threats

Al-Qaida's North African branch says eight hostages it is holding are safe and a video will soon be released of the Europeans.

SITE Intelligence Group said Sunday that al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, made the announcement Saturday through Twitter. AQIM says that captives from Britain, France, the Netherlands and Sweden are still alive. AQIM had before threatened to seek revenge against all countries taking part in the French-led intervention in Mali. Earlier this year the al-Qaida-linked group said it had killed a French hostage.

The al-Qaida affiliate, which became part of the terror network in 2006, is one of three Islamic militant groups in northern Mali. In January the French led an intervention that pushed the extremist groups from some of the major cities in the north.