Town 90 miles from Mali capital on alert

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Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013 9:20 am

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) -- A town 90 miles (144 kilometers) from Mali's capital was put on alert Wednesday, and roughly 100 Malian soldiers sped there after a reported sighting of jihadists in the vicinity.

Banamba is connected by a secondary road to the garrison town of Diabaly, which was taken by Islamic extremists and has been the scene of intense fighting with French special forces.

A county official who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak publicly said they had received reports that a rebel convoy had left Diabaly on the road connecting it to Banamba.

"We don't have a garrison here, we have no defenses. So the military has come to secure the town," he said. "But from Monday to today, no jihadists have entered our town."

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