Algeria foreign minister says consul, 6 others kidnapped by gunmen

Algeria's foreign minister says the country's consul in the northern Malian city of Gao and six of his employees have been kidnapped by unknown gunmen.

Mourad Medelci told the state news agency Thursday that the seven were forced to leave the Algerian Consulate in Gao and taken to an unknown location. He added that the government is working to ensure their release as soon as possible.

Algerian media had reported earlier in the day that the consulate had been assaulted by Islamists.

Tuareg rebel groups, including some with Islamist ties, have taken over much of northern Mali.