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Islamists claim victory over Tuaregs in north Mali: Locals

Published on Nov 19, 2012 7:15 AM

BAMAKO (AFP) - One of the Islamist groups that seized northern Mali earlier this year was claiming victory on Sunday over Tuareg fighters who tried to dislodge them, residents and a spokesman for the group said.

A statement from the Tuareg group denied they had lost any of their fighters, insisting instead that they had killed dozens of Islamists.

Fighters of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) near the town of Gao, in the northeast, celebrated what they said was their win over Tuareg rebels on late Sunday.

"They are firing in the air and saying Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar (God is greater), we have won," one resident told AFP.

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