A top figure of Malian Islamist group Ansar al-Din was arrested near the Algerian border, AFP quoted a Malian security source as saying on Monday (February 4th).
Mohamed Moussa Ag Mouhamed "was called Ansar al-Din's number three, but in reality he was the brain of the organisation", Kidal official Abdoulaye Toure said.
It was unclear whether the secular Touareg National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) or Ansar al-Din splinter group Islamic Movement of Azawad (MIA) had captured the Islamist in Hillal.
A suspect sought in connection with the November kidnapping of French retiree Gilberto Rodriguez Leal was also arrested in the area, Toure said.
In related news Sunday, Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci said that the Algerian diplomats held in Mali by al-Qaeda splinter group Movement for Tawhid and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) were "in a safe place".