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Originally published Sunday, March 31, 2013 at 5:28 AM

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Islamic extremists attack Timbuktu in north Mali

Mali army officials say Islamic extremist fighters have attacked Timbuktu in northern Mali.

Associated Press

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BAMAKO, Mali —

Mali army officials say Islamic extremist fighters have attacked Timbuktu in northern Mali.

Capt. Samba Coulibaly, spokesman for the Mali military in Timbuktu, said Sunday there is continuing gunfire between the army and jihadist fighters linked to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM. He said the Islamic radicals sneaked into the city's military camp.

Coulibaly said the fighting started Saturday night at about 10 p.m. when a jihadist suicide bomber blew himself up at a Malian military checkpoint at the western entrance to Timbuktu. He said one army soldier was slightly injured in the explosion.

He said that since the bomb attack, the jihadists have fired upon the Mali army from hidden positions and so far the French military in Timbuktu has not been involved in the fighting.

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