Gunfight erupts in Mali's Kidal as PM visits

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By Adama Diarra KIDAL, Mali (Reuters) - A gunbattle erupted between the Malian army and MNLA Tuareg separatists in the northern city of Kidal on Saturday shortly before a visit by the prime minister, an army source and an MNLA spokesman said. Mali's new prime minister, Moussa Mara, landed in the city for the first time since his appointment last month as he seeks to revive long-delayed peace talks with armed groups seeking autonomy for a region of northern Mali they call Azawad. A spokesman for the MNLA said the gunfight began on Saturday morning after the army opened fire on their barracks following pro-independence protests in the city. "They were the first to fire and they aimed at our position and we responded," said MNLA spokesman Attaye Ag Mohamed in Kidal, speaking over occasional bursts of gunfire.