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Despite the peaceful presidential election that was held in Mali last July following the French-led military intervention, the ceasefire between the government and Tuareg rebels in the north has broken down.

Since Sunday afternoon Malian troops have been fighting with Tuareg rebels in the northern town of Kidal, the latest sign that French troops may be staying in Mali longer than anticipated.

From Reuters:

(Reuters) - Malian troops clashed with Tuareg rebels in the northern desert town of Kidal for a second day on Monday, residents said, after the separatists ended a ceasefire with the new government last week.

The fighting began late on Sunday afternoon outside a bank in the center of Kidal, with both sides accusing the other of firing first. After calm returned overnight, shooting re-started early on Monday morning.

In a separate incident, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claimed responsibility for a bombing in Timbuktu over the weekend that killed two civilians.

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