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Message Subject Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Poster Handle Anonymous Coward
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(After Gaddafi's death) Taureg exiles from Libya joined forces with a Tuareg rebel group, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) whose goal was complete independence from Mali. . .

But just as the Tuareg stood on the brink of historic victory, their secessionist and largely secular rebellion was hijacked by al-Qaeda affiliates. . .

With the major population centres of the north under rebel control, Ansar Dine (''Defenders of the Faith'') . . who were allied with AQIM (& MUJWA), brought the formidable financial resources of al-Qaeda to bear on their one-time allies: within days of seizing Timbuktu Ansar Dine expelled the MNLA from all rebel-held urban centres.

Fighters from regional Islamist groups - including the feared Boko Haram from Nigeria - swelled their ranks as they prepared for an armed response from the Malian government.

Read more: [link to www.smh.com.au]
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