Presidents: French military sweep in northern Mali frees 5 aid workers kidnapped in February

France's presidential palace says French forces have freed five humanitarian aid workers kidnapped by "a terrorist group" in northern Mali in early February.

The Elysee palace said in a statement attributed to both the French and Malian presidents that the operation north of Timbuktu on Thursday freed the five — including four workers with the International Red Cross. The statement said the five were in good health.

The statement didn't identify the "terrorist group" responsible for the kidnapping, but remnants of al-Qaida's north Africa branch have been active in the area.

The five went missing on Feb. 8 while traveling from the northern city of Kidal to Gao.