Tuareg Freedom Fighters Lose Northern Mali to Rebels
At least 21 people were killed in Gao city of Mali after clashes on Wednesday between a Tuareg freedom fighters and rebel group. The parties involved were members of the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad (MNLA) and The Unity Movement for Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO).
Northern Mali was seized by the two groups after the March 22 coup in Bamako, capital of Mali. Since then the two having different plans and ideologies have failed to rule the North of Mali in peace.
MUJAO which is linked to Al-Qaeda and rebel group Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith) was dominant in the region after Wednesday shootings came to a halt around 2 p.m. local time.
The leader of MNLA Bilal Ag Cherif was injured during the clash and fled to neighboring Burkina Faso to seek treatment in Ouagadougou, the capital city.
Conflicts began to heat up as a riot by residents began on Tuesday to protest the murder of Municipal Councilor Idrissa Oumarou. Residents pointed fingers at rebel groups for the killing of Oumarou. The protestors were shot at by armed men. One protestor was reported dead and twelve injured.
MUJAO is keen on implementing Islamic law in the region while MNLA is focused on reclaiming independence in Azawad, their northern homeland.
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