Malian army seizes rebel-held town

2013-06-05 14:38
(File: Ghislain Mariette, AFP/Ecpad)

(File: Ghislain Mariette, AFP/Ecpad)

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Bamako - The Malian army seized the northern town of Anefis on Wednesday, following heavy clashes with the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad (MNLA), a Tuareg rebel group.

Anefis lies 110km south of the MNLA-stronghold of Kidal.

"We have taken control of Anefis," army spokesperson Captain Modibo Traore said.

Fighting continued while the army further advanced towards Kidal, where the MNLA over the past few days attacked non-Tuareg residents, forcing them to leave the town.

"After our takeover of Anefis, which is the last town before Kidal, the MNLA has begun to attack all black communities. They have threatened to execute all non-Tuareg," an army officer based in Gao said on condition of anonymity.

During a cabinet meeting in Bamako on Tuesday, Mali's interim government, which came to power shortly after a military coup in April 2012, extended the country's state of emergency until July 5.

The government wants to regain its authority in the country's north before elections scheduled for July 28.

Read more on:    tuaregs  |  mali  |  west africa

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