Mali

Militants Move South in Mali

Group has links with Al Qaeda

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DAKAR, Senegal — A relatively new al-Qaida offshoot in northern Mali has pushed south, seizing a town less than 200 kilometers from the Malian army frontline. 

Since 2011, the militant Islamist sect has been involved in kidnapping for ransom, a suicide bombing in Algeria, and most recently the execution of an Algerian diplomat, taken hostage in northern Mali in April. Analysts say the sect is still defining itself.  

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