Photo Gallery Shariah and Thugs in Northern Mali

For months, an Islamist regime has been terrorizing northern Mali. Hundreds of thousands have already fled the region, and those who have stayed behind are experiencing new forms of cruelty with each passing day. A SPIEGEL reporter documents a two-week journey through a region Europe fears will become the next Somalia.
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Across northern Mali, where Islamists have seized control, fighters, often adolescents, with Kalashnikovs are telling locals what is acceptable behavior and what is not. Sharia law is also being implemented -- often in grisly ways.

Foto: Baba Ahmed/ AP
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One of the masterminds behind Islamist terror in Mali is Iyad Ag Ghali (right), who is pictured here in Kidal. Ag Ghali is constantly surrounded by a throng of heavily armed me with the group Ansar Dine, or "Defenders of the Faith."

Foto: © Stringer . / Reuters/ REUTERS
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Soldiers stand guard in Bamako, which is still under the government's control. This spring, forces with the Tuareg ethnic group drove the Malian army out of the country's northern regions within only a few weeks. They proclaimed the Tuareg nation of Azawad, which no nation in the world has recognized.

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Map of Mali and the surrounding region

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