World

Mali's Tuareg separatists freeze cooperation with UN mission and threaten to boycott talks

  • Mossa Ag Attaher, spokesman for the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, speaks during a press conference in Rabat, Morocco, on Friday Jan. 23, 2014.   The Tuareg separatist spokesman Mossa Ag Attaher accused the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali of siding with the government and allied militias and has threatened to boycott upcoming peace talks based in Algeria. (AP Photo/ Paul Schemm)

    Mossa Ag Attaher, spokesman for the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, speaks during a press conference in Rabat, Morocco, on Friday Jan. 23, 2014. The Tuareg separatist spokesman Mossa Ag Attaher accused the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali of siding with the government and allied militias and has threatened to boycott upcoming peace talks based in Algeria. (AP Photo/ Paul Schemm)  (The Associated Press)

  • Mossa Ag Attaher, the spokesman for the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, speaks at a press conference in Rabat, Morocco, on Friday Jan. 23, 2014.   The Tuareg separatist spokesman Mossa Ag Attaher accused the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali of siding with the government and allied militias and has threatened to boycott upcoming peace talks based in Algeria. (AP Photo/ Paul Schemm)

    Mossa Ag Attaher, the spokesman for the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, speaks at a press conference in Rabat, Morocco, on Friday Jan. 23, 2014. The Tuareg separatist spokesman Mossa Ag Attaher accused the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali of siding with the government and allied militias and has threatened to boycott upcoming peace talks based in Algeria. (AP Photo/ Paul Schemm)  (The Associated Press)

The spokesman for a Tuareg separatist movement in Mali says relations with U.N. peacekeepers have been suspended after a deadly clash.

Mossa Ag Attaher on Friday accused U.N. peacekeepers of siding with the government and its allied militias and threatened to boycott the next round of peace talks set for Feb. 8 in Algiers.

A Dutch attack helicopter with the U.N. mission destroyed a separatist vehicle on Tuesday near the remote desert town of Tabancort killing seven, according to Attaher.

The U.N. said peacekeepers came under fire.

Northern Mali fell under control of Tuareg separatists and then al-Qaida-linked Islamic extremists in 2012. A French-led intervention last year scattered the extremists.

U.N. troops are now trying to stabilize the north, and peace talks have begun between the Malian government and Tuaregs.