It was reported recently that the fight began between the Tuareg Mujahideen and the Tuareg rebels, during which the latter were driven out of several towns. There were details of the incident, wrote UmmaNews.
According to Abu Dawood, one of the commanders of the Movement of Tawheed and Jihad in West Africa (MTJWA), the Islamic fighters took under complete control the town of Gao (see map) after fierce fighting with the rebels of National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (NMLA), who after entering into a peace treaty, violated it on Wednesday morning.
Abu Dawood added that the leaders of the NMLA threatened Mujahideen to knock them out of Gao, if Islamic fighters do not leave the town voluntarily. After that, the fighting broke out.
As of Thursday the Mujahideen were in full control of the headquarters of the NMLA in Gao, which is also a nationalists' administration. Abu Dawood also reported that during the sweeping of the town Mujahideen captured 15 NMLA militants and eliminated 3.
"We entered the headquarters of NMLA in the town's center, and destroyed their tank along with the crew, besieged them in their camps outside the town", said another Islamic commander. He praised the fighting as "very strong".
The sources added that the sweep of the nationalist elements of Gao was personally commanded by Mukhtar Belmuhtar (Khalid Abu al-Abbas Balavar), one of the key commanders (see photo) of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
The clashes between Mujahideen and Tuareg rebels had the highest intensity in the early hours of the night, then because of the heavy rain they were suspended. Mainly, there were fierce battles around the perimeter of the international airport, where the NMLA militants barricaded themselves.
"We are moving to the area of the airport, where military forces of NMLA are concentrated, Emir Abu Dawood said in a telephone interview with local media. - We are separated from them by one kilometer".
Later he added: "I hear the brothers at the forefront proclaiming takbir and shoot, means a fighting at the airport began".
Islamic fighters fired on a military zone of nationalists with heavy artillery and rocket launchers, in turn, the rebels responded with one rocket.
A mujahid has martyred (Insha'Allah) and 4 injured in total in the ranks of Al-Qaeda during the fightings. According to other reports, 3 Mujahideen martyred (Insha'Allah): two of the Fulani tribe and a Tuareg. According to sources, the population of Gao fully support Al-Qaeda - helps fighters with water and food, and also participates in the capture of NMLA militants.
Later, a spokesman for Ansar al-Din in Gao said that the Mujahideen have taken full control of the town, the rebel nationalists lost 43 people, including a colonel, and remaining who barricaded themselves in the airport area began to flee.
After some time a source of Sahara Media in AQIM has confirmed that the international airport of Gao (see map) was taken under full control of the Mujahideen.
"I'm talking to you from the airport tower, the remains of apostates fled ... We have entered a war zone and did not find anyone here", said one of the commanders.
The information about taking full control of the town of Gao was confirmed by the representative of International Red Cross (ICRC):
"We have now left Gao and went to Niger, a town is filled with vehicles of Islamist groups, it seems that it was entered by all the Islamist militants".
At the same time fighting broke out in another important Malian town - Timbuktu (see map). Mujahideen of Ansar al-Din, concentrated in its southern gate, located 4 kilometers from the city airport (see map), which was under the control of NMLA militants.
In a telephone conversation, commenting on the situation, the spokesman for Ansar al-Din in Timbuktu Sanda Ould Boumama (see photo) stated that the Mujahideen drove the nationalists from the town administration, which was used to be as HQ for NMLA, and took control of all government buildings in the center of Timbuktu. According to him, the cause of the clash here was the killing of the Ansar al-Din' mujahid by rebels during an argument
A spokesman for Ansar al-Din also added that at 2 am on Thursday the remains of nationalists began to recede from the center of Timbuktu and meet at the headquarters of the military barracks outside the town.
Boumama stressed that there was unproven information that the Mujahideen of Ansar al-Din managed to wound the leader of the "transitional government" Bilal Ag Acherif, who was in critical condition and was taken by helicopter to a special hospital in Burkina Faso.
At the end of the conversation the spokesman for Ansar al-Din in Timbuktu announced that the next few hours will be crucial in determining the direction of events.
Later Boumama reported that the Mujahideen of al-Qaeda and the allied movements given an ultimatum to rebel nationalists - to leave Timbuktu airport voluntarily until 4 pm on Thursday.
Later it has become known that the NMLA rebels fled from it.
The correspondent of Sahara Media said that he arrived at the airport around 4 pm on Thursday and discovered that there were no rebels. By that time the Mujahideen of Ansar al-Din have not yet sent their armed units.
Western news agencies, including Reuters, reported that the town of Kidal (see map), which also has the airport, and the entire northern Mali desert, have also felt under control of the Al Qaeda and its allies.
It is to be recalled that the reason for the clash between the Mujahideen and the NMLA began as a result of shooting at demonstrators in Gao. It was reported that Al Qaeda and its allies came to defend Muslims who went on the streets to protest against the insurgents who opened fire on unarmed people.
Department of Monitoring