In an April 24, 2012 French-language article on the website of the news agency Toumast Press, Aljimite Ag Mouchallate reported on tensions between local residents of Timbuktu and Ansar Al-Din members stationed there, as manifest in a rally against the Islamists after they vandalized a statue of the city's "guardian angel." It described how militants from the Islamist group are trying to enforce their "diktat" over the city, including by destroying its bars and purging it of alcohol.
Mouchallate said that, recognizing the incendiary situation and hoping to avert opening itself to any new battlefronts, the MNLA (National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad), which has denied accusations of affiliation with Ansar Al-Din, sent its chief of staff to Timbuktu to reassure the population that it is working to bring stability in the region....
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