Mali army, Tuaregs clash in north
05 June 2013, 15:47
Bamako - Malian soldiers clashed with Tuareg separatists
from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad on Wednesday in a town
south of the rebel-held regional capital of Kidal, military sources told AFP.
"Our troops have engaged armed bandits in the Anefis
area who have suffered heavy losses of men and vehicles," said Malian army
spokesperson Souleymane Maiga.
The clashes were confirmed by the MNLA and a regional
military source who said the Malian army hit rebel positions in the area at 08:00.
"The Malian army has attacked our positions this
morning in Anefis. It decided this morning to resolve the situation through war
and the Malian government will bear the consequences," MNLA vice-president
Mahamadou Djeri Maiga told AFP.
"We never wanted to resolve the situation by war, but
as this is so, we will defend ourselves until the end," he added, speaking
from the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou, where he is in talks with Malian
officials over the staging of Mali's upcoming elections.