TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

U.S. provides support for French troops in Mali

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, 7:10 p.m.
 

SEGOU, Mali — American planes transported French troops and equipment to Mali, a U.S. military spokesman said on Tuesday, as Malian and French forces pushed into the Islamist-held north.

The town of Douentza had been held by Islamist rebels for four months, 120 miles northeast of Mopti, the previous line-of-control held by the Malian military in Mali's narrow central belt. The Islamist fighters have controlled the vast desert stretches of northern Mali, with the weak government clinging to the south, since a military coup in the capital in March unleashed chaos.

French and Malian troops arrived in Douentza on Monday to find that the Islamists had retreated from it, said a resident, Sali Maiga. “The Malian military and the French army spent their first night, and the people are very happy.”

In September, a convoy of pickups carrying bearded men entered Douentza, and in the months that followed the Islamist extremists forced women to wear veils and enlisted children as young as 12 as soldiers in training.

French and Malian forces also took the town of Diabaly, which lies 120 miles west of Mopti, on Monday once Islamist fighters who had seized it a week earlier fled amid French air strikes.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Antarctica yields life in extremest of conditions, so what about on another planet?
  2. France opens black box, hoping to unlock jet crash mystery
  3. Militias pull out of battle for Tikrit
  4. Proposed deal would allow Iran to run centrifuges, prohibit building bomb
  5. Saudi-led attacks seen as escalating violence in Yemen
  6. Co-pilot may have hidden illness, German prosecutors say