Malian soldiers patrolling in Kidal, July 29, 2013
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Mali 'at war' with Tuareg rebels - Mousa Mara

19 May 2014 Last updated at 20:21 BST

Mali's prime minister has said his country is "at war" with Tuareg separatists in the north of the country.

Mousa Mara said troops were being sent there to retake the town of Kidal, which the rebels partly control.

He was speaking after at least 17 people were killed in clashes in the city. The rebels also abducted about 30 civil servants who had met the prime minister a few hours earlier.

Alex Duval Smith reports from Bamako.