Army: 45 Rebels Killed in Fighting in Northern Mali

Posted January 19th, 2012 at 7:50 pm (UTC-5)
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Mali's military says it killed 45 pro-Taureg rebels in fighting this week in the country's north near the Algerian border.

Army officials say two soldiers were killed during the clashes in the towns of Aguelhok and Tessalit.

A rebel spokesman denied the army's claim, telling the Reuters news agency that as many as 40 government troops were killed.

The Tauregs have been fighting for an independent state in Mali and neighboring Niger off and on since the 1960s. A large number of Tauregs were part of the Libyan army under the late Moammar Gadhafi. Many have since returned to Mali and joined existing rebel groups.