UNITED NATIONS - The UN Security Council expressed grave concern on Friday at the "increasing entrenchment of terrorist elements" in northern Mali, including al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb, and urged all rebel groups to cut ties with the Islamist extremists.
The 15-member Security Council also noted an appeal by West Africa's regional body for targeted sanctions to be adopted in a bid to help end Mali's crisis and said it would consider further measures if necessary.
Mali descended into chaos in March when soldiers toppled the president, leaving a power vacuum that enabled Tuareg rebels to seize nearly two-thirds of the impoverished, landlocked country.
Islamist groups, some allied with al-Qaida, then hijacked the rebellion in the north to impose sharia law.
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