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Several rebel groups in battle for northern Mali

A soldier of the rebel National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) fixes a MNLA flag at their headquarters on July 27, 2013 in the northern Malian city of KidalA coalition of rebel militias fought together to wrest control of the flashpoint town of Kidal from Mali’s army, an African security source said Thursday, a day after it fell to armed separatists. The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and the High Council for the Unity of Azawad (HCUC) claimed on Wednesday to have captured the bastion of the Tuareg separatist movement, slaying several soldiers. The source told AFP that the HCUC was the main force among “separate armed groups were involved in the fighting against the Malian army”, adding that the MNLA and Arab Movement of Azawad (MAA) also took part. Military operations against militant groups in Mali are complicated by the fact that fighters move between separatist and Islamist causes, while even the Malian army employs thousands of former Tuareg rebels.

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