DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Local officials and a rebel spokesman confirm that fighters from the radical Islamic group MUJAO attacked a position held by secular rebels who were the first to seize control of northern Mali this April.
Oumar Ould Hamaha, spokesman for MUJAO, said that the clash started Friday morning about 50 to 65 kilometers (30 to 40 miles) from Ansongo, a town between the northern cities of Gao and Menaka.
Menaka is the base of the secular rebels of the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad, or NMLA. They fled to Menaka after Islamists pushed them out of much of northern Mali in June.
Djibril Moussa Diallo, the village chief of Fafa, near the fighting, said that MUJAO sent dozens of fighters overnight to flush out the NMLA.