March 25, 2012 / 7:08 PM / in 6 years

Mali militia chief, fighters die in clash with rebels

BAMAKO, March 25 (Reuters) - Clashes between Malian rebels and a pro-government militia killed at least 10 people on Sunday, including the head of the Ganda Iso force that has sought to back the embattled army in the north, sources said.

A member of the militia contacted by telephone told Reuters that Amadou Diallo was among the dead during clashes at Saina, 120 km from Gao, a major northern town threatened by rebels. Two sources said that at least 10 other members of the militia were killed in the fighting.

The militia has become increasingly active in recent weeks as Mali’s army struggled to contain a push by northern separatist rebels.

Rebels have made advances in the north, taking advantage of the chaos after a coup by the military in the capital Bamako. (Reporting by Adama Diarra and David Lewis; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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