Ten militants and nine soldiers have died in clashes between the Malian army and a Tuareg rebel alliance, the defence ministry said on Thursday, raising fears for the country's fragile peace process.
The announcement came a day after fighters from the Tuareg-led Coordination for the Movements of Azawad (CMA) ambushed military positions in the central town of Lere, near the Mauritanian border.
"The provisional toll of the clashes is: armed forces -- nine dead, six injured, six hostages, one damaged vehicle. Enemy side: 10 dead and 16 injured, two vehicles destroyed; one vehicle, arms and ammunition recovered," the ministry said in a statement.
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