MNLA rebels say military operations over in northern Mali

BAMAKO - Mali's MNLA separatist rebels have declared the end of military operations and called on the international community to protect their newly created "Azawad" state on the edge of the Sahara, according to a statement on the group's website
The rebels, acting alongside Islamist forces who want to impose sharia, or Islamic law, swept through northern Mali last week, pushing government forces from Kidal, Gao and Timbuktu, the three northern regions of Mali that the MNLA says will form the new state.
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