The Red Cross says it is considering evacuating civilians from a northern Mali town after attacks there by Tuareg rebels.
Spokesman Germain Mwehu said Friday that Mali's government and the rebel group have contacted them to ask that civilians be moved out of the area near Tessalit.
The military camp near the town has been surrounded by Tuareg rebels since fighting began in mid-January.
The Malian government says there are 1,500 civilians caught in the military camp.
The rebels say there are only a handful of civilians but they want these people to leave the camp before they launch a final assault.
The Tuareg rebels are fighting for the independence of north Mali. Among the rebels are Tuaregs who once fought for Libya's Moammar Gadhafi.