47 killed in Mali clashes between army, rebels

January 20, 2012

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Mali's army says 47 people were killed in clashes Wednesday with a new Tuareg rebel group, whose members include former pro-Gadhafi fighters.

A statement from spokesman Col. Idrissa Traore says 35 attackers and one member of the armed forces died in fighting around the town of Aguelhok and 10 attackers and one government solider died in the town of Tessalit. There was no way to independently confirm the report.

Defense ministry spokesman Nouhoum Togo said there was no fighting Friday.

The National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad said it launched the attacks this week, breaking two years of relative peace.

Members of the Tuareg ethnic group live in several nations in northwest Africa.