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65 Islamic rebels, 13 Chad troops killed in Mali

N’DJAMENA, Chad (AP) — The Chadian army says that its troops killed 65 Islamic extremist rebels and destroyed five vehicles in fierce fighting northern Mali.

The Chadian military said in a statement Saturday on state broadcasting that 13 Chadian soldiers were also killed and six were wounded in the fighting Friday in northern Mali.

The statement said the clashes were in the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains of northeastern Mali.

Chad has deployed some 1,800 troops in Mali as part of the French-led military intervention begun in January to wrest control of northern Mali from the Islamic radicals linked to al Qaeda.

The Islamic rebels retreated to mountainous hideouts near Mali’s northern border with Algeria, after being expelled at the end of January by French and Malian forces from the major towns in northern Mali.

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