You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Red Sox Live

9

2

▲  8th Inning 1 outs

Islamic extremists attack Timbuktu

BAMAKO, Mali — Timbuktu was hit by a prolonged battle between Islamic extremists and the Malian and French armies, residents and the Malian military said Sunday.

Fighters linked to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or ­AQIM, attacked the city in northern Mali late Saturday night and continued fighting Sunday, said Captain Samba Coulibaly, spokesman for the Malian military in Timbuktu.

Continue reading below

The attack started Saturday when a jihadist suicide bomber blew himself up at a Malian military checkpoint at the western entrance to Timbuktu, he said. One soldier was slightly injured.

‘‘The jihadists are a few. They sneaked into the military camp and the city of Timbuktu. There is shooting at the moment, but we’ll get to the end,’’ said a Malian soldier at an entrance to the city, who insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press.

The French military joined the Malian Army on Sunday to fight the Islamic radicals, Timbuktu residents said.

As of Sunday afternoon, shooting could still be heard in the city, said resident Age Djitteye. He said that one of the jihadists tried to take cover inside his family’s compound.

‘‘He was young. He was wearing a robe, and had ammunition belts across his chest and a turban. He came inside our compound, and then the French came. He ran and they chased him,’’ he said.

Djitteye said a suicide bomber blew himself up on one of the only paved roads at the heart of Timbuktu, close to the Hotel Colombe, the town’s main hotel used by journalists and aid workers.

The fighters had taken over the back of the hotel complex, near the swimming pool, said Agaly Cisse, a hotel employee. The hotel had been hosting a large government delegation, including the governor of the region, he said.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.