News24

Mali rebels attack Northern town

2012-03-31 13:32

Bamako - A soldier in Mali's strategic northern town of Gao says Tuareg rebels have attacked the city a day after they seized the provincial capital of Kidal.

The soldier, who could not be named because he is not authorised to speak to the press, said that he could hear the sound of heavy weapons being fired on Saturday.

Tuareg rebels launched an insurgency in January. The conflict has cost the lives of dozens of Malian soldiers.

On March 21, soldiers in the capital overthrew the government, claiming the country's democratically elected president had bungled the response to the rebellion in the north.

Mali is now facing severe economic sanctions over the coup. The putschists are sending a delegation to Burkina Faso on Saturday to negotiate with regional powers, who are demanding they step down immediately.