At least ten persons are thought to have been killed in the Friday clashes opposing the pro-independence fighters of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (NMLA) and Islamists of the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), corroborating sources in Bamako told APA on Saturday.
The fight broke out in an area between Gao and Menaka, a town near the Niger border, a Malian security source was quoted as saying by a local authority who is visiting the Malian capital.
According to the reports, the pro-independence Tuaregs of the MNLA who were particularly mad at the MUJAO fighters for chasing them away from their base in Gao in June, ambushed them at a water point.
"They (the pro-independence fighters) were the first to open fire," Oumar Ould Hamma of MUJAO, said, indicating that his movement retaliated, leaving ten persons dead and several cars damaged.
He added in a phone call with the local authority that three among them were wounded in the clashes.
This is the second violent confrontation opposing the two armed groups after their June clashes in which more than thirty persons are thought to have been killed in the northern city of Gao.
Defeated during the last confrontations, in which Al-Qaeda in Maghreb and other criminal organizations who sided with MUJAO, the Tuareg rebels had since withdrawn to the Algerian border.
Source African Press Agency
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