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Mali sent in troops on Sunday to retake Kidal from Tuareg separatists who killed at least eight soldiers and captured around 30 civil servants while the prime minister was on a visit to the northern town. Gunfire had already broken out before Prime Minister Moussa Mara’s arrival early on Saturday and he was forced to take shelter in an army base as rebel fighters attacked and seized the regional governor’s office.Mara told a Reuters reporter inside the base overnight, “In light of this declaration of war, the Republic of Mali is henceforth at war.” He told a news conference on Sunday after he moved to Gao, another city in the north, the government had already sent troops, including special forces, to retake Kidal.

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