Mali: Tuareg rebels lose their last base in north

AP News
Posted: Nov 20, 2012 12:35 PM

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Islamist extremist rebels say they have pushed secular Tuareg fighters from Menaka, their last base in northern Mali.

Oumar Ould Hamaha, spokesman of the Islamists of MUJAO, said the Tuaregs were forced to retreat from Menaka on Tuesday in fighting that killed more than 100.

But the spokesman for the Tuaregs, Moussa Ag Assarid, said from Paris that his group is still fighting in part of Menaka against the Islamists of MUJAO and their allies, al-Qaida of the Islamic Maghreb.

Bajan Ag Hamatou Menaka, a member of the National Assembly of Mali, said many civilians fled the shelling of Menaka by the Islamists. He said many fled across the border to Niger and others went into the surrounding desert. He said 12 civilians were killed by the bombing.