News / Africa

Two Senior Islamists Captured in Northern Mali

A convoy of Malian troops makes a stop to test their weapons near Hambori, northern Mali, on the road to Gao, February 4, 2013. A convoy of Malian troops makes a stop to test their weapons near Hambori, northern Mali, on the road to Gao, February 4, 2013.
x
A convoy of Malian troops makes a stop to test their weapons near Hambori, northern Mali, on the road to Gao, February 4, 2013.
A convoy of Malian troops makes a stop to test their weapons near Hambori, northern Mali, on the road to Gao, February 4, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Two senior Islamist militants have been captured in northern Mali, including a top leader of radical group Ansar Dine.  

The Tuareg separatist group MNLA says it arrested Mohamed Moussa Ag Mohamed and Oumeini Ould Baba Akhmed on Saturday near Mali's border with Algeria.

Ag Mohamed is the number-three leader of Ansar Dine and helped impose a harsh form of Islamic law on the city of Timbuktu.  

Baba Akhmed is believed to be a member of the Movement for Unification and Jihad in West Africa, also known as MUJAO.

  • Malian soldiers man a bridge at the entrance of Gao, northern Mali where a suicide bomber on a motorcycle killed himself attempting to blow up an army checkpoint, Feb. 8, 2013.
  • Malian soldiers stand by a motorcycle used by a suicide bomber at the entrance of Gao, northern Mali, Feb. 8, 2013.
  • Malian soldiers inspect an explosive they found after residents notified authorities of suspicious bags left by radicals when they fled Gao, northern Mali, February 6, 2013.
  • A Malian man walks between doors of closed shops in Gao, northern Mali, February 5, 2013.
  • A child stands by his donkey cart, in Gao, northern Mali, February 5, 2013.
  • Men carry humanitarian food aid toward boats, Mopti, Mali, February 4, 2013.
  • A Malian woman looks at men carrying humanitarian food aid, Mopti, Mali, February 4, 2013.
  • Malian soldiers escort prisoners, who are suspected al-Qaida-allied fighters, in front of a military cell in Mopti, Mali, February 4, 2013.
  • A convoy of Malian troops on the road to Gao, northern Mali, February 4, 2013.
  • French President Francois Hollande holds hands with Mali's interim President Dioncounda Traoré in Timbuktu, Mali, February 2, 2013.
  • A man takes a close look at a burned-out truck in Timbuktu, Mali, January 31, 2013.

Ansar Dine

  • Name means "Defenders of the Faith"
  • Follows a puritanical form of Islam known as Salafism
  • Wants to impose strict Sharia law
  • Took control of parts of northern Mali after a March coup in Bamako
  • Led by Ag Ghali, a former senior rebel military commander
The two groups along with al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb controlled the major towns of northern Mali for about nine months before being driven out by the French and Malian armies.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Monday that French warplanes were continuing bombing raids on supply routes and training centers in the remote desert of northeastern Mali. He told French radio that the objective is to make it impossible for the rebels to stay in northern Mali long-term.

Also Monday, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden met with French President Francois Hollande in Paris and praised the French operation in Mali, calling it "decisive."

Biden also backed France's call for U.N. peacekeepers to be deployed to Mali

Hollande is pushing for African forces to take over for French troops that have been battling the militants for the past three weeks. He made a one-day visit to Mali on Saturday, making brief stops in Sevare, Timbuktu and the capital, Bamako.  

He told a cheering crowd in Bamako that French forces are fighting so people in Mali, a former French colony, can live in peace and have democracy.

Mali was plunged into crisis last year when soldiers overthrew the president, allowing the MNLA and Islamist groups to take control of the north. The Islamists then seized full control of the region and imposed strict Sharia law with measures that included a ban on music and forcing women to wear veils.  

The groups also carried out public executions, floggings, and amputations for alleged criminals, drawing strong condemnation for human rights groups and the United Nations.

You May Like

'Exceptionally Lucky' US Boy Survives Flight in Wheel Well

The boy was unconscious for most of the flight, and appeared to be unharmed after enduring the extremely cold temperatures and lack of oxygen More

US Anti-Corruption Law Snags Major Tech Company

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in December, 1977 More

Cameron Criticized for Calling UK 'Christian Country'

Letter from scientists, academics and writers says the prime minister is fostering division by repeatedly referring to England as a 'Christian country' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
February 04, 2013 10:16 AM
While the Tuareg rebels captured two senior Islamic militants, did French military kill or capture or wound any of the Islamic militants during their fly over in Mali? Did the Mali or ECOWAS forces catch, kill or wound any of the Moslem terrorists?

The French military helped to avoid the take over of Mali by Moslem terrorists. Without the reduction in the number of Moslem terrorists, the French, Mali and ECOWAS forces allowed the Moslem terrorist diaspora to spread to border countries.

The ECOWAS countries are sending their military forces to keep peace in Mali, when their own countries are threatened by Moslem terrorism. There is no change or reduction in the threats posed by the Moslem terrorists. The terrorists are just playing the hide and seek. There is a long way to go to reduce the threat of Moslem terrorism in the Sub-Sahara, Sahil Saharan and ECOWAS countries.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid