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Mali loyalist forces refuse to leave occupied northern town

A Malian soldier patrols on a road between Gao and Kidal in northern Mali, July 26, 2013Pro-government militias in northern Mali refused Wednesday to pull out of a town they occupied last week, as renewed tensions with Tuareg rebels threatened to torpedo a crucial peace deal in the restive region. The Platform coalition of loyalist fighters seized the town of Anefis, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of the northern city of Kidal in deadly clashes last Monday that left at least 10 dead, according to a source with MINUSMA, the UN mission in the country. The outbreak of violence prompted the Tuareg rebels to pull out of an international committee set up to monitor a peace accord which they reluctantly signed in June with the pro-government militants after lengthy negotiations.

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