Mali Islamist rebels take another city

2013-01-10 20:06

kalahari.com

  • Bradt Guide Mali
    This title features information that ranges from elephant migrations to rock-climbing. Now R262.00
    buy now

Bamako - Mali's Islamist rebels seized control of the central city of Konna Thursday, encroaching further on government-held territory, said the rebels' spokesperson.

Konna, a city of 50 000 people 700km northeast of the capital Bamako, fell from the government to the rebels, Sanda Abu Mohammed, spokesperson of the Ansar Dine rebels, told The Associated Press on the phone from Timbuktu.

The fall of Konna marks a significant push by the rebels to Mali's centre.

A Mali army spokesperson refused to comment on the loss of Konna but a soldier, who refused to give his name because he was not authorized to speak, said the army had retreated from Konna to the town of Sevare. Local residents said the government air force is sending out planes to battle the rebels from Sevare's military airport.

The Mali army had been fighting the Islamist rebels since Wednesday with heavy weapons. Konna is strategic because it is the centre of the country which divides the narrow-waisted country between insurgent-held north and the government-controlled south, government officials said Thursday.

Diarran Kone, the communications adviser for the Ministry of Defence, would not speak about the loss of Konna.

"I do not want to comment on the story much less our wounded military operations in the area," said Kone. "But it is certain that we seek every opportunity to move northward and liberate the cities of Timbuktu , Kidal and Gao."

Since April the Islamist rebels have occupied the vast desert of northern Mali, an area the size of France. The Islamists took advantage of a power vacuum in Mali following a March coup that overthrew the democratically elected president.

The Islamist rebels - a coalition of three groups including Ansar Dine, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, or MUJAO - have been implementing a strict version of Islamic law in the north, carrying out public executions, amputations and whippings.

The Islamists are carving out their own country in northern Mali and making it a centre for extremism, threatening neighbouring countries, according to security experts.

The United Nations Security Council has authorised military action to help the government regain control of the north, but says there must first be political progress made following the military coup last year.

- AP
Read more on:    aqim  |  un security council  |  mali  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

Tips on how to set your fitness goals

Before you embark on a fitness or training programme, set yourself clear and realistic long-term and short-term goals.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

This all-terrain vehicle is badass!
The TRUTH about painkillers and exercise
WIN! Where were you when you last felt alive?
Watch: Fishing under ice

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on electronics!

Get mind blowing savings on top electronic products. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be spending too much time organising and trying to control things to make sure everything is perfect instead of just...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.