Mali Islamists 'oust' Tuaregs from Timbuktu

2012-06-29 14:32
(File, Shutterstock)

(File, Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bamako - Tuareg rebels left the north-western Mali town of Timbuktu and its outskirts Thursday on the orders of armed Islamist group Ansar Dine, witnesses told AFP.

Residents contacted from the capital Bamako said no fighters from the Tuareg National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) could be seen in the last positions they had occupied around Timbuktu and at the airport.

"Ansar Dine gave them two hours to leave" and they did so, according to the owner of a hotel that had been closed by the Islamists. The order was given before midday Thursday.

No official from Ansar Dine or the MNLA could immediately be contacted.

Islamists patrolled the streets of Gao and arrested civilians on Thursday after dislodging Tuareg rebels from their positions in the northern Mali town in a day of deadly combat.

The Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) had carried out patrols all through the night and arrested at least four civilians who were carrying arms, residents of the town reported.

Two chiefs of armed Islamist groups were seen in the city Thursday, said a local politician - Mokhtar Belmokhtar of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Iyad Ag Ghaly, head of Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith).

The Tuareg fighters, who spearheaded the late March takeover of northern Mali by various rebel groups, lost their regional headquarters and part of a military camp near the airport in Wednesday's clashes.

Several sources reported a column of vehicles packed with Islamist fighters for Ansar Dine had left for Gao from the town of Kidal, which is under their command.

Key cities

The fighting in Gao took a heavy toll. Witnesses counted at least 21 bodies around the town.

Two dead still lay in front of the governorate, the former headquarters of the MNLA.

MNLA secretary general Bilal Ag Acherif was wounded and evacuated from Gao to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso.

"He was mostly hit with shrapnel," a hospital source said.

Witnesses said two former colonels who defected to the rebellion were killed, and many Tuaregs were transferred to Algeria with injuries.

"In total 41 people with bullet wounds were treated in the town hospital which has been supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross since April," the ICRC said in a statement.

The key cities in the north were seized by Tuareg and Islamist rebels after a 22 March coup in Bamako, but the Islamists quickly took the upper hand and began implementing strict Islamic law in Timbuktu, Kidal and Gao.

The Tuareg have demanded a secular independent state, but have increasingly been pushed aside by the Islamists.

Read more on:    tuaregs  |  al-qaeda  |  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

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Summer is the perfect time for rekindling cooling passions and for shedding your inhibitions as well as your clothes…

 
 

I love summer.24

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Paarl

Houses R 2 690 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy 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 emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....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.