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Mali Islamic Rebels Reject Terrorism, Agree to Work for National Unity

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Mali - Ansar Dine

Mali - Ansar Dine

Islamic rebel groups that have seized control of northern Mali have agreed to reject terrorism and violence and work for national unity in the troubled West African nation.

The agreement came after a day of talks with Mali's government Tuesday in neighboring Burkina Faso.

The African Union and other West African officials have urged the United Nations to authorize military intervention in Mali, fearing that extremists would try to set up an Islamic state. Militants already control the historic city of Timbuktu, banning such symbols of Western culture as music.

Mali was considered to be an area of stability in West Africa until March, when soldiers overthrew the government. This created a power vacuum that allowed the radical Islamic group Ansar Dine and Tuareg rebels - who had fought alongside the late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi - to rush in and take control of the north.

U.S. officials have expressed their concern over the situation in northern Mali but cautioned against military action at this time.

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