Separatist rebels in Mali ambushed a military convoy near the northern town of Timbuktu on Monday, rebels and military sources said, just four days before a U.N.- backed peace deal was due to be signed.
A spokesman for the rebel umbrella group, the Coordination of Movements for Azawad (CMA), told Reuters that they had killed some 20 people in the attack and seized several vehicles.
An army spokesman confirmed the attack but had no immediate toll.
“The shooting started at around 0930. It was an ambush,” said a military source in the town of Timbuktu. “It was between Goundam and Timbuktu. Reinforcements have been sent in.”