BAMAKO - Seven people were killed in a suicide car bomb attack by suspected Islamist militants in the remote northern Malian town of Kidal on Tuesday, the MNLA Tuareg rebel group said, in the second such attack there in less than a week.

A spokesman for the Malian army, Modibo Nama Traore, confirmed that a car bomb had exploded in the town but was unable to provide further details.

French forces have been stationed in Kidal since driving out al Qaida-linked fighters in late January as part of a military campaign to oust Islamist militants who seized the northern two-thirds of the West African country last year.

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