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Friday, September 14, 2007

Tuareg Rebels Fire at US C130 Resupply plane, attack Tin-Zaouatene

BAMAKO, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Tuareg rebels, who hit a U.S. military plane with small arms fire this week, attacked a remote Mali army garrison on Friday, a Defence Ministry official said.
  • The rebels opened fire with automatic weapons around dawn at the northern garrison at Tin-Zaouatene, close to the border with Algeria, the official, who asked not to be named, said.
  • Malian troops fired back. The fighting halted later and there was no immediate report of casualties.
  • "Their objective is clear, to take 'Tin-Za'," the official said, adding the army was reinforcing positions at Tin-Zaouatene and elsewhere in the region.
  • In recent weeks, the rebels led by insurgent leader Ibrahima Bahanga, have carried out raids and ambushes in the north.
  • Malian official said the rebels had blocked access roads to the garrison town by laying mines as part of their efforts to prevent supplies getting through.
  • A U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules was hit on Wednesday while dropping food supplies to the Tin-Zaouatene garrison, but it returned safely to Bamako and none of its crew were hurt, U.S. officials said.
  • Washington views Mali as an ally in its war on terrorism and its forces regularly train Malian troops. U.S. military officials said the resupply flight to Tin-Zaouatene was not a regular occurrence, but they did not rule out others.

The Rest @ Retuers Africa

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