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Mali: Tuareg rebels take 30 hostages in northern town in 'declaration of war' on government

Mali officials say separatist rebels killed eight soldiers, stormed a government building and took 30 people hostage in an assault on the northern city of Kidal.

Government spokesman Mahamane Baby said Sunday the army is determined to regain control of the governor's office in Kidal where the hostages were taken. It is unclear where the hostages are being held.

The attack came during a visit by Prime Minister Moussa Mara.

A government statement said 28 assailants were killed and 62 injured. It said 25 soldiers were injured in addition to the eight killed.

Ethnic Tuareg rebels seized control of much of northern Mali in 2012 before being pushed out by al-Qaida-linked fighters. A French-led intervention in 2013 scattered the Islamic extremists but Tuareg separatists retain a strong presence in Kidal.