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Originally published Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 7:34 AM

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Mali rebels declare cease-fire after northern push

A spokesman for the main Tuareg rebel group which recently seized the three largest towns in Mali's north says they have declared a cease-fire.

The Associated Press

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BAMAKO, Mali —

A spokesman for the main Tuareg rebel group which recently seized the three largest towns in Mali's north says they have declared a cease-fire.

Moussa Ag Assarid, the Paris-based spokesman for the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad, said Thursday they were ceasing military operations because they had reached their goal.

He said: "Since day before yesterday when our units reached Douentza - which we consider to be the frontier - the military offensive is declared over."

Rebels took advantage of chaos after a recent coup to seize the main towns of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu, but they share the territory with an Islamist group. It's unclear which of the two has the upper hand.

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