2nd northern Mali town under attack

2012-01-18 12:26

Bamako - Fighters attacked the northern Mali town of Aguelhok on Wednesday, security and other sources said of new unrest in the West African country a day after Tuareg rebels and former soldiers from Libya tried to seize another town there.

The attack on Aguelhok, some 140km north of the northern town of Kidal began before dawn on Wednesday and involved heavy weapons, a northern Mali source in contact with the town said.

It was not immediately clear whether the attackers were linked to the same group of Tuaregs and Libyan ex-soldiers who the Defence Ministry said were responsible for Tuesday's attack on the town of Menaka 400km south of Kidal.

Tuareg nomads, who have fought several rebellions for a sovereign homeland in the Sahara desert, are believed by Malian authorities to have received an influx of weapons and men in the aftermath of Libya's war. Their last rebellion ended in 2009.

Clashes in Menaka on Tuesday left at least one Malian soldier and several assailants dead, the government said. It was not clear on Wednesday whether full control of the town had been established.