Battle of Aguelhok
|Battle of Aguelhok|
|Part of the Tuareg rebellion (2012) and Northern Mali conflict|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Captain Sékou Traoré †||Colonel Iga Ag Moussa
Iyad Ag Ghaly
|Casualties and losses|
|128–160 soldiers killed
|dozens killed, 40 vehicles destroyed (Army claim)|
The Battle of Aguelhok (also called the Aguelhok Massacre) occurred when rebels from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and Islamists groups Ansar Dine and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb attacked a Malian army garrison base in the town of Aguelhok, Kidal Region of Northern Mali on 17 January 2012, as part of the larger Tuareg rebellion to seize all government bases in the region.
The attack was led by Colonel Moussa Ag, a Malian army deserter to the MNLA. The military base was overrun on 25 January, after the Malian army garrison ran out of ammunition and surrendered.
Malian military spokesmen Colonel Idriss Traoré later commented that 97 captured soldiers were killed. Later it became known that the 100 captured Malian soldiers were summarily executed by rebels using "al-Qaeda style" tactics. Nine soldiers spared during the massacre were later let free on a vow to never fight "Sharia Islam".
"Based on the information available, the Aguelhok incident appears grave enough to justify further action by the Court."
"The garrison had no more ammunition and it was impossible to transport reinforcements. The soldiers who fought valiantly were captured. When the MNLA left the scene we discovered a tragedy. Seventy of our young people were lined up on the floor. Blacks had their wrists tied behind his back. They were killed by bullets fired at close range in the head. Those who had white skin, Arabs and Tuaregs slaughtered and gutted. It is a war crime. I am surprised by the silence of international organizations on these atrocities. What does the International Criminal Court do? Nothing. A commission of inquiry was tasked to submit a dossier to the Malian justice. MNLA who claimed victory bears a heavy responsibility, but we know that the largest contingent of the group was composed primarily of people of AQIM. "
France and other world countries denounced the incident as "absolutely atrocious and unacceptable violence".
On 1 February, violence in the north of the country led to anti-rebellion protests which shut down Bamako, Mali's capital. Following the Bamako protests, the interior minister took the place of the defense minister. President Touré also called on the population to not attack any community after some Tuaregs' properties were attacked in the protests.
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