Mali

Islamic Militants Fight Malian and French Forces in Timbuktu

Eventually repelled after entering the city overnight

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PARIS — A small band of radical Islamist fighters battled French and Malian soldiers for hours in a firefight in Timbuktu on Sunday after infiltrating the Malian city overnight, Malian officials and witnesses said.

The fighting, which was preceded by a suicide attack at a military checkpoint on Saturday night, was the first such violence to reach downtown Timbuktu since January, when French forces arrived and forced out the jihadists who had seized the city in 2012. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.