Mali Clashes Begin, Al Qaeda Reinforces

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Options12, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. Options12

    Options12 Guest

    BAMAKO: Al Qaeda’s North African branch has sent hundreds of fighters to reinforce its rebel allies in the tense Gao region of northeastern Mali, witnesses said Saturday, after Tuareg rebels launched a failed offensive a day earlier.

    Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and its allies initially fought alongside the nomadic Tuareg people’s Azawad National Liberation Movement (MNLA) to seize control of Mali’s vast desert north in the wake of a March 22 military coup. But the rebels, whose goals include imposing strict Islamic law, soon turned on their more secular Tuareg allies, who are fighting to establish an independent state.\11\18\story_18-11-2012_pg4_6
  2. Options12

    Options12 Guest

    Update on fighting 11/19/12:

    A spokesman for al Qaeda-linked Islamist group MUJWA said its fighters had already seized control of the town, about 100 km (60 miles) from the Niger border, in clashes that had left many MNLA fighters "dead, wounded, and imprisoned."

    Neither side could give details on casualties.

    The MNLA declared an independent Tuareg homeland in April after routing government troops in the wake of a March coup, but it has since lost control of the zone to Islamists.