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Malian Rebel Groups Merge, Declare Independence

By William Tucker Two rebel groups that participated in the effort to seize northern Mali in the midst of a military coup in the capital of Bamako have signed a formal agreement that merges the two groups into one governing entity. The Tuareg group, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), and the Ansar Dine, an affiliate of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb, signed the accord in Timbuktu.