A Tuareg rebel group and an official say that another armed group allied with members of Mali's army has attacked a town in the north amid peace talks brokered by Algeria.

A statement by the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad said Monday that another Tuareg militia attacked a town held by NMLA and took a dozen people as prisoners. An official with the U.N. mission in Mali confirmed the attacks, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't permitted to speak to the media.

Algeria has mediated several rounds of peace talks between the Malian government and Tuaregs, searching for a political system that could include both. The violence comes weeks before a new peace accord was expected to be signed in Bamako.