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Mali Elections

Tamacheq men wait for polling stations to close in Mali's parliamentary elections in Gao, Northern Mali, Sunday Nov. 24, 2013. Malians have begun voting in legislative elections amid heavy security highlighting fears the poll could be sabotaged by rebel attacks. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

Mali holds legislative elections

Yahoo News

Malians voted Sunday in legislative elections amid heavy security, highlighting fears that a vote seen as the last step in restoring constitutional rule in the battle-scarred country could be sabotaged by rebel attacks.

While overall Sunday's vote appeared to be mostly peaceful, sporadic acts of violence served as a reminder of Mali's continued instability. There were also reports of fresh clashes between members of the Tuareg and Peul ethnic groups that left more than a dozen dead, officials said.

In the confusion following Mali's March 2012 military coup, rebel groups, including Tuareg separatists and Islamic extremists linked to al-Qaida, took control of northern Mali, prompting France to launch a military intervention in January that largely ousted the militants. But the region has seen an increase in violence in recent weeks, underscoring the persistent challenges in cementing security gains. (AP)