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Tuareg Rebels Nab Bigwigs
By Harold Hutchison

Taureg rebels with MNLA, now working with French and Malian government forces, captured two high-ranking Islamist leaders in northern Mali.

The Mohamed Moussa Ag Mohamed and Oumeini Ould Baba Akhmed were arrested near the Algerian-Malian border as French forces continued their offensive. Ag Mohamed is believed to be the third-highest-ranking individual in Ansar Dine, and responsible for the imposition of sharia law in northern Mali.

Baba Akhmed is with Movement for Unification and Jihad in West Africa, another Islamist group that worked with Ansar Dine and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. The Islamist groups carried out a nine-month reign of terror, carrying out executions, floggings, and amputating limbs.

The groups also banned music and forced women to wear veils.