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Mali arrests three Islamist militants


Bamako – Mali’s military said on Monday it had arrested three suspected members of a new Islamist militant group who it claimed were behind a series of recent armed attacks on security forces.
Army spokesman Modibo Traore said that the militants belonged to the Massina Liberation Front (MLF), a group responsible for wave of attacks in the north of Mali.
A statement by Traore listed the militants as Hassan Dicko, MLF’s second in command, and Ali Sangare, a taxi driver.
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It also included Ayouba Sangare, an Ivorian, who is responsible for the group’s logistics.
According to the statement, authorities discovered large quantities of weapons, ammunition and grenades during a search of Sangare’s house.
Islamist fighters, some with links to al Qaeda, seized the northern two-thirds of Mali in 2012 but a French-led military intervention scattered them the following year.
However, remnants of the insurgency continue to carry out attacks.
The MLF recruits mainly among central Mali’s marginalised Fulani ethnic minority.
Security experts fear that the rise of a jihadist group among the Fulani, whose 20 million members are spread across West and Central Africa, could regionalise the violence (Reuters/NAN)

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