Islamists and rebels fight to control town


Islamist gunmen fought Tuareg separatist rebels yesterday in a battle for control of the town of Menaka in Mali’s northern desert, close to the border with Niger, both sides said.

The renewed fighting came as African leaders were putting the finishing touches to an international intervention plan to retake Mali’s north from a patchwork of armed groups which the West suspects of providing a platform for militant attacks.

A spokesman for al-Qaeda-linked Islamist group Mujwa said its fighters had already seized control of the town, about 100 km from the Niger border. – (Reuters)