Three Government Soldiers Killed in Rebel Attack

A rebel and a U.N. source have both reported that at least three Malian soldiers were killed on Monday in a dawn raid by rebels south of the desert town of Timbuktu, despite a partial signing of a peace deal last week. The violence erupted in Bambara Maounde, some 60 miles south of Timbuktu, another sign of violence spreading beyond the northern strongholds of the various rebels still active despite the deployment of French and United Nations troops in Mali. The repeated clashes are overshadowing what diplomats hope will be a step towards pacifying Mali's north, which has been gripped by violence since the 2012 separatist rebellion was hijacked by al Qaeda-linked Islamists, forcing a French military intervention in early 2013.