New armed group takes control of Timbuktu

2012-04-27 22:03

Bamako - A new armed group on Friday tightened its grip on the Malian city of Timbuktu as the Tuareg rebels reached the centre.

Members of the National Liberation Front of Azawad (FLNA), which was set up this month, on Thursday arrived in vehicles and seized control of entries to the east and south of the ancient city.

On Friday the group, which says it has neither a secessionist nor Islamist agenda, moved into Timbuktu's central area.

"Around 100 vehicles full of armed FLNA fighters came today to the [central] Sans Fil area of Timbuktu. They are armed to the teeth," said a Malian security source in the town.

Witnesses and an FLNA member confirmed the arrival.

"The are in the process of taking control of the civil protection building," said one witness.

The entries in the north and west remained in the control of two other armed groups - Islamists Ansar Dine and The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), Mali's main Tuareg rebel group.

The MNLA earlier declared independence in the north, a vast swathe of desert it calls Azawad, which it captured along with Ansar Dine, a much smaller group, after a March 22 coup in the capital Bamako.

Ansar Dine, an Islamist group, subsequently took control of Timbuktu. It says it rejects independence for the north and says it is fighting for Islam and to impose sharia law.

Security sources say that Ansar Dine has fallen under the influence of AQIM, al-Qaeda's north African wing, which is holding several Westerners hostage.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    mnla  |  mali  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

As it happened: New Zealand 47-9 Tonga
Fourie: Boks can't be in a better position
All Blacks' deficiencies in the spotlight
All Blacks batter brave Tonga
Traffic Alerts

The phrase for today is:”Out of the blue.” Expect the unexpected and work with the changeable energy. Your intuition is more

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


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 network.


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.