Malian rebels attack village of renowned blues guitarist (39501)


Jan. 31 (GIN) – The northern town of Niafunke, best known as the hometown of bluesman Ali Farka Tourke, came under attack this week by Tuareg separatists believed to be returning from Libya where they fought in the army of the late Moammar Gadhafi, the AP has reported.

Over the past two weeks, a Tuareg group calling itself the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad attacked six small towns spread out over more than 500 miles across Mali’s vast north.

The rebels have not yet attacked any major cities.

Farka Toure’s musical style was described by Martin Scorsese as the “DNA of the blues.” In his 1999 album “Niafunke,” Toure, who died in 2006, explained his dedication saying he wanted to reflect on the Malian landscape was always a source of inspiration for him.

The Tuareg group, accused of ties to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, seeks self-determination for the north of Mali, an area it calls the Azawad.

Meanwhile, Algeria has donated over 3,000 tons of rice to Mali intended for people affected by a cereal shortage due to a shortage of rain.