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Islamists counterattack Gao in Mali

IBTimesUK reports on a counterattack by al Qaeda-affiliated Islamists on the town of Gao. French and Malian troops drove the militants from Gao two weeks ago.

See Threat Matrix coverage: First suicide bombing reported in Mali

READER COMMENTS: "Islamists counterattack Gao in Mali"

Posted by blert at February 11, 2013 6:19 PM ET:

This attack echoes gambits used as far back as the Algerian War: get the conventional army and police to over-react.

The e n t i r e point of the probing attack is to trigger a 'bullet festival' -- something that is extremely disturbing to the civil harmony.

The civilians assume, by the volume of fire, (lousy fire discipline) that the islamists are back in force, and, generally, panic.

The ancient solution to such sneak attacks is the walled city.

One should expect check points, curfews, and ever increasing perimeter security measures.

The inevitable polarization along racial/ ethnic lines must ensue.

All of this being a re-hash of the Algerian dynamic.

AQIM wants to split Mali in half.