Tuareg separatists launched attacks in the town of Gao in northern Mali on Saturday, taking advantage of the chaos left over by a 10-day old military coup.
Rebels arrived in the strategic garrison town in pick-up trucks loaded with arms. A reporter from the Reuters news agency described hearing heavy weapons fire. This new assault came after the rebels took Kidal, another key town in the north on Friday.
Tuareg rebellions have flared up regularly. This latest one since January.
Saturday’s attacks come after Malian soldiers launched a military coup after complaining about the lack of resources to fight the northern insurgency.