Mali

American Government Blacklists Malian Islamist group

Ansar Dine has links to Al Qaeda

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The US government has placed Mali's Islamist group Ansar Dine on its terror blacklist because of continued links to al-Qaeda's North Africa branch.

The decision freezes any of its US assets and bans business with it.

Ansar Dine was one of a number of militant groups that took control of northern Mali in the aftermath of a coup, one year ago on 22 March 2012.

French troops, which intervened in January to oust them, are still fighting insurgents in the mountains.