Fighting has broken out in northern Mali between a coalition of Tuareg rebels and a Tuareg group allied with the government of the West African country.

A spokesman for the rebel coalition, Mohamed Elmaouloud Ramadane, told The Associated Press on Thursday that fighting was under way in the city of Kidal.

He gave few details.

Both of the groups signed on to a peace deal in June 2015 between Mali's government and armed groups in the northern part of the country.

Tuareg separatists took hold of Mali's north in 2012 before al-Qaida-linked militants took control. French forces pushed them out of their strongholds in 2013. Since then, the north has remained on edge, with more than 11,000 United Nations soldiers and thousands of Malian troops maintaining an uneasy peace.