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Malian hostage of battle for Kidal tells of 'carnage'

A soldier of the rebel National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) fixes a MNLA flag at their headquarters on July 27, 2013 in the northern Malian city of KidalA civil servant kidnapped as militants ambushed government offices in the Malian rebel bastion of Kidal told Thursday of the “carnage” that unfolded as fellow hostages were murdered in hail of machine gun fire. Abdoulaye Maiga and his colleagues were preparing for a visit by Prime Minister Moussa Mara as soldiers and rebels began shooting at each other outside, forcing a group of government officials who had arrived from Bamako to flee the building. “When the delegation withdrew, we were surrounded… A prefect came to tell us ‘well, we’re surrounded — it’s over for everyone’,” Maiga told AFP. The drama unfolded during a firefight between the army and separatists from several militias including the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) which left eight Malian soldiers and 28 insurgents dead.

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