Mali rebel groups clash

2012-06-13 17:44
An Islamist rebel of Ansar Dine near Timbuktu, rebel-held northern Mali. (Romaric Ollo Hien, AFP)

An Islamist rebel of Ansar Dine near Timbuktu, rebel-held northern Mali. (Romaric Ollo Hien, AFP) (Romaric Ollo Hien)

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Timbuktu - Witnesses say fighting has broken out between two groups vying for control of northern Mali.

Oumar Ould Hamaha, a fighter with the Islamist group known as Ansar Dine, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that at least three people had been wounded during a confrontation in the city of Timbuktu.

The fighting took place between Ansar Dine militants and secular Tuareg rebels who are known as the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad.

The secular rebels once said they intended to merge with Ansar Dine, which seeks to impose strict Islamic law in the area.

However, the secular rebels recently announced a governing council for the region that does not include the Islamists, and tension has been growing between the two groups.

The rebels all took advantage of a power vacuum after mutinous soldiers overthrew Mali's president in March.

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