BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Malian officials and Tuareg separatists say three Tuareg fighters were killed by the army in northeastern Mali on Friday.
The Malian Ministry of Defense issued a statement Saturday saying four rebels also were wounded about 100 kilometers (62 miles) east of Menaka, near the Niger border.
The deaths were confirmed by Mossa Ag Attaher, press officer for the Tuareg force, the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad.
Attaher said that despite the clash the Tuareg separatists are planning to hand back to the government the governor's administrative offices and the local radio in the northern center of Kidal on Nov. 14. The rebels have held the buildings since early 2012.
The Malian military, backed by the United Nations force in Mali, is working to re-establish control in Kidal.