Malian troops received reinforcements in the central town of Mopti on Tuesday night (January 8th), AFP reported.
Troops in the area are receiving a boost after the army reported that shots were exchanged with Islamist fighters after the rebels tried to move into Kona, a town near Mopti.
"Terrorists and Islamist armies from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Ansar al-Din and the Movement for Tawhid and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) attempted a movement of force" to get around the town of Kona on Monday afternoon, the defence ministry said in a statement.
The reinforcements will help "ensure the safety of the people and cope with the enemy", a security official told AFP.
In related news, a second round of talks between Touareg rebel groups and Malian government, scheduled to start in Ouagadougou January 10th, have been postponed to a later date, SAPA quoted Burkina Faso officials as saying on Tuesday.
Burkina Faso Foreign Minister Djibrill Bassole, who leads the negotiations on behalf of Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore, said that "all the parties asked that they be given more time to prepare".