Malian security forces clashed with a group of suspected al-Qaeda militants June 17 in the northern Tessalit region, killing several people, a senior military source told Reuters. The armed forces sent out patrols to try to track down the suspected militants around Mali‘s northern border region with Algeria after the assassination this month of the security chief of the Timbuktu region.
“One of the patrols came across a group of gunmen in several armed 4x4s in the Timetrine sector of Tessalit,” the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity. “There was a chase and the group took refuge in some hills. There was cross-fire. There is no exact toll at the moment but there are several dead on both sides.”