Mali rebels hand over control of administrative buildings in troubled city

Rebels have turned back over control of administrative buildings in the troubled northern Mali town of Kidal to the government even as the rebels step up their armed presence in the area.

Keys to the buildings were given to members of the U.N. peacekeeping mission on Thursday.

Resident Madou Alhousseini said the same day that about 50 armed rebels were seen traveling in 10 vehicles through the town.

French-led forces ousted al-Qaida-linked militants from Kidal, but it took several more months before the secular Tuareg rebels would allow forces to enter the town.

Fears of insecurity have been compounded by suspicion that Islamic extremists have returned.

The killing earlier this month of two French radio journalists in Kidal highlighted the perilous security situation in the city.