World Bulletin / News Desk
Fighters seized control of the headquarters of the local separatist rebels in the north Mali town of Gao on Wednesday after a bloody battle that killed at least 20, residents said.
The battle follows weeks of tension between the separatist Tuareg-led MNLA and better-armed local Islamists who helped it take control of the northern two-thirds of Mali in April.
"The Islamists are now controlling the situation because they are the only ones driving around in the town, some in their vehicles and others on vehicles they have recovered from the MNLA," Gao resident Moktar Toure told Reuters by telephone.
"But we live in fear of an MNLA counter-offensive against the Islamists even though they are trying to reassure people that it is over," Toure said.
A spokesman of the Islamist Ansar Dine group said their fighter had taken control of the governor's residence and chased away MNLA fighters.
One witness told Reuters earlier on Wednesday that the former governor's residence in Gao which the MNLA had turned into the "palace" of the northern territory it calls the independent state of Azawad, had been heavily damaged by heavy arms fire during the battle.
"The MNLA and MUJWA are launching rockets at each other between the two markets of the town and the governor's building," Gao resident Sila Askou said by telephone of the governor's premises in which the MNLA has set up headquarters.
Gao resident Habsatou Cisse said by telephone she saw five bodies from the house in which she was sheltering. Others reported 11 bodies and four bodies in separate locations. They said civilians were among those killed but had no other details.
Separately, residents in the northern town of Timbuktu 300 km (200 miles) to the west, said they had seen armed convoys of the local Ansar Dine Islamist group - a MUJWA ally - racing to Gao.
"We are going to obliterate the MNLA today," local Islamist Ousmane Toure said by telephone. "Enough is enough."
Malick Aliou Maiga, another resident contacted by telephone, said the MNLA headquarters had been badly damaged in the battle, which started around mid-morning.
MNLA spokesmen based in Mali and in Europe were not immediately contactable for comment but one member of the group, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the attack on the headquarters had been repelled.
"Either the MUJWA backs off or we are heading towards an all-out armed confrontation," said the MNLA member.
U.S. President said that the priority of the U.S. is to make sure that the gains that ISIL has made in Iraq are rolled back
Two miners may have been killed in the collapse at the Bonanza mining project, about 260 miles (420 km) northeast of the capital Managua
The red warning code indicates that an eruption is imminent or underway, with a risk of ash.
Kenya recently identified eight new offshore exploration blocks available for licensing, and all but one of them are located in the contested area.
The questions surrounding Akong Rinpoche's death underscore the distrust that many Tibetans have of the Chinese government.
Kiev has accused Russian troops of illegally entering eastern Ukraine and, backed by its U.S. and European allies, has said it will fight to defend its soil.
“I think Israeli people wants more Palestinian to be killed,” Elifelet Sara, 31 year-old Israeli Jew tells AA.
In a statement on its website, the government said that it places itself "at the disposal" of the Libyan parliament and voiced hope the legislature would pick a new government that "represents all segments of the Libyan people."
The defendants faced several charges, including assaulting security personnel and illegally demonstrating in Upper Egypt's Minya province.
Relations between Cairo and Addis Ababa soured last year over Ethiopia's construction of a $6.4-billion hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile.
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said that he top commander of the Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades Mohamed Deif is safe despite losing his wife and daughter in an Israeli attack.
On Thursday, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders and that negotiators are set to demarcate the borders.
The self-styled IIslamic State group had threatened to start killing soldiers as of Wednesday.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has declared Syria's most dangerous chemical weapons totally destroyed.
The largest increase in rates of heroin overdoses was seen in the city's wealthiest neighborhoods
The exercise, called Ample Strike 2014, will involve 1,400 troops including 300 foreign soldiers from 11 NATO member countries and around 30 aircraft