Al-Qaeda-linked groups from Mali found safe heaven in Darfur
Kuttum - February 5th, 2013, Islamist radicals suspected to be coming from Mali were seen in Kuttum market in North Darfur, eyes witnesses told Radio Diversity. The Islamist militants were first seen in Kuttum on Monday February 4th. The eyes witnesses asserted that the militants were unlike the janjaweed they used to see in those areas. They seem to be unfamiliar to the area as they were asking the locals about the market.
One eye witness claimed "they are total strangers in the area".
Eye witnesses reported that they were wearing black clothes with heavily armed green 4 wheel Land Cruiser vehicles. They have Dushkas and other heavy arms.
Another eye witness reported that the strangers came with 3 Land Cruisers and the number of the militants in each vehicle was estimated between 20 and 30 people.
The local people confirmed that some of the militants were hospitalized in Damra Sheik Abdelbagi, a well-known Arab settlement, about 5km to the west of Kuttum. The other group settled in Boa Turmis area, north Kassab IDPs camp.
The residents of Kassab IDPS camp were terrified when the Islamist militants passed by their camp.
Eye witnesses said antanov war planes have been hovering above Kuttum areas since the arrival of the militants and the government force in the town of Kuttum seems to be at alert. But no official commented on the arrival of the new strangers in the area.
In the past, Sudan announced that about more than hundred Sudanese jihadists went to Mali to fight against infidels.
The Islamist militants who had held some cities in Mali for nearly a year were chased away by the continuing French military offensive. Now, they are starting to re-group and seek safe heaven in Darfur.
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