Deadly Clashes Erupt in Northern Mali Ahead of Polls
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - At least four people were killed in the town of Kidal in northern Mali and the central market was set on fire in clashes between minority Tuaregs and black residents.
Four people have died with many others wounded and the market set ablaze in the northern Malian flashpoint town of Kidal, the government said Friday, a sign of growing tension with key polls nine days away.
On Thursday night "armed individuals attacked people loyal to Mali in the town of Kidal, killing four, wounding many others and causing damages among the population whose houses and shops were targeted before they were looted and ransacked," a defense ministry statement said.
"On Friday the central market was set on fire."
Earlier Friday an official with the UN peacekeeping force in the troubled west African country had said clashes between minority Tuaregs and black Africans in Kidal had left at least one dead overnight.
The official said the incident was apparently caused by rumors that the army was sending more troops to Kidal ahead of the July 28 presidential poll, Xinhua reported.