BAMAKO (AFP) -- Around 30 civilians and soldiers are missing following clashes between separatist militants and the Malian army in the rebel-controlled northern city of Kidal, officials said on Sunday.
"About 30 of our personnel have been reported missing since yesterday. We do not know their fate. We also do not know exactly how many of them are being held by the rebels," a source in the regional governor's office said.
The fighting broke out on Saturday outside the building as Mali's Prime Minister Moussa Mara was visiting Kidal as part of his first tour of the country's restive northern desert.
Tuareg separatists shot dead a Malian soldier as the two sides exchanged fire over several hours, members of the premier's entourage as well as military sources and witnesses told AFP.