One of the Islamist groups occupying northern Mali has said it is withdrawing its offer made last month to stop fighting. Ansar Dine, which has been taking part in talks in Burkina Faso, blamed the Malian government for scorning the offer.
The group, along with tuareg rebels, had said it was ready to cease hostilities and negotiate with the authorities after the UN Security Council gave the green light for an international armed force to be deployed in Mali to oust the Islamists.
Ansar Dine is one of three Islamist movements dominating northern Mali since June.
Meanwhile pictures of three Algerian diplomats held hostage by suspected Islamist militants since last April have been broadcast by a pan-Arabic TV channel.
The men appealed to their country’s president to find a solution over their plight.
Algeria’s government said it was mobilised to secure the hostages’ release.
Mali has become an international headache ever since a military coup removed the president in March.