Mali rebels call truce after seizing north

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The Independent Online

Tuareg-led rebels who have seized control of northern Mali announced a ceasefire yesterday, saying they had achieved their aim of creating a state they called Azawad.

Army chiefs from the Economic Community Of West African States are about to meet to discuss military intervention. West African governments have rejected the idea of Mali's north seceding and fear it will become a security vacuum for al-Qa'ida and smugglers to exploit.

An Islamic faction within the rebel forces has imposed sharia law in the city of Timbuktu.

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