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Suicide Bomber Dies in Northern Mali Blast

A suicide bomber has blown himself up in the northern Mali city of Kidal, a bastion of the ethnic Tuareg separatist group, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA).

A local reporter said the suspected militant detonated his explosives Tuesday morning after he was chased by MNLA members.

The bomber's target was not clear. The blast was near the home of a leader of Islamist militant group Ansar Dine and not far from the residence of an MNLA officer.

Kidal is the seat of the separatist group, whose fight for independence in northern Mali triggered a national crisis last year. The MNLA later joined forces with al-Qaida-linked militants to overrun the north but were then pushed out of power by the militants.

A French-led offensive that began in January resulted in the ouster of al-Qaida linked groups in urban areas of northern Mali. However, sporadic militant attacks in the region have continued.

In February, at least five people were killed, including two suspected militants, in a bombing near the northern town of Tessalit.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.