Tuareg rebels release 30 hostages in north Mali

Tuareg rebels release 30 hostages in northern Mali, maintain control of governor's office

Tuareg rebels release 30 hostages in north Mali

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) -- Tuareg rebels in northern Mali have released 30 hostages whom they had seized last weekend.

The rebel National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad said Monday in a statement its members delivered the hostages to aid workers and peacekeepers.

A resident of the northern Mali town of Kidal, Mohamed Ag Ibrahim, confirmed that the hostages walked from the rebel-controlled governor's office to the safety of a nearby army base.

The weekend rebel attack left eight civilians dead and marked a serious escalation in violence in Kidal, a separatist stronghold where Mali's military is viewed with hostility.

While the rebels released the hostages, they are continuing to occupy the governor's office.

The Mali government in a statement said it amounted to "a declaration of war."

Updated : 2021-03-04 01:53 GMT+08:00