URGENT ¥¥¥ Al-Qaeda linked rebels claim Mali car bomb attack

The Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist rebel group the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) on Thursday claimed an "attack" in the northern city of Kidal in which a vehicle exploded near a camp occupied by French and Chadian troops.

"In the name of all mujahedeens, we claim the attack that took place against the enemies of Islam in Kidal today (Thursday)... We were able to enter the centre of Kidal without any problem to blow up a vehicle as planned," MUJAO spokesman Abu Walid Sahraoui told AFP.

He added that the group had also sent fighters to northern Mali's largest city Gao where French-backed troops are battling Islamist rebels.