The international Red Cross says it has lost contact with a three-person team working in a part of northern Mali where multiple Islamic extremist groups are present.

Valery Mbaoh Nana, spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Bamako, said Tuesday the aid workers disappeared Saturday while returning to the northern city of Kidal from the village of Abeibara, where they had been distributing water. The Red Cross did not disclose their nationalities but said they were all African.

A French-led military intervention in 2013 scattered al-Qaida-linked Islamic extremists that had taken control of northern Mali, though the groups are still active and the region remains unstable. Four Red Cross workers were kidnapped in 2014 between Kidal and the city of Gao before being freed by French soldiers.