Junta denounces Mali rights abuses

2012-04-04 21:56

Bamako - The military junta that seized control of Mali late last month says rebels are committing "grave violations" in the northern town of Gao after they recently sacked the strategic town.

A statement issued on Tuesday by the junta said "women and girls have been kidnapped and raped by the new occupants who are laying down their law".

They say the town was invaded by rebels who include fighters from an Islamist sect called Ansar Dine and a branch of al-Qaeda, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Tuareg rebels seized three cities over the weekend in the north of the West African nation.

The Associated Press has confirmed the presence of Ansar Dine in Gao, but it's still not clear if the more dangerous AQIM branch is also present. AQIM has kidnapped more than 50 foreigners since 2003.

- AP
Read more on:    aqim  |  ansar dine  |  mali  |  west africa  |  human rights
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