TribLIVE

| USWorld


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

Malians pummel extremists

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, 9:40 p.m.
 

GAO, Mali — Residents in Mali's newly liberated city of Gao hunted down and beat suspected Islamist extremists who had not fled with their brothers-in-arms as Malian and French military forces closed in and retook the town.

Malian troops bundled the men into an army truck on Tuesday, their hands bound behind their backs. For the better part of a year, the al-Qaida-linked extremists had banned music, insisted women cover themselves and began carrying out public executions and amputations in the towns of northern Mali that they controlled.

Now the Islamists' control of the cities has slipped, with the provincial capitals of Gao and Timbuktu coming back under government authority in quick succession with the arrival of French and Malian troops. They may have lost control of a third key city, Kidal.

France, the former colonial ruler, began sending in troops, helicopters and warplanes on Jan. 11 to turn the tide once the armed Islamists began encroaching on the south, toward the capital.

French and Malian troops seized Gao during the weekend, welcomed by joyous crowds. They took Timbuktu on Monday. The Islamists gave up both cities and retreated into the desert.

But not all of them left.

Members of a youth militia, the Gao Patrolmen, went house to house hunting down suspected Islamic extremists. Abdul Karim Samba, spokesman for the group, said men were scouring the town for remnants of the extremist Islamist group known as the Movement for Unity and Oneness of the Jihad.

“They are the Islamists who have gone into their homes to hide,” he said.

Troops from Chad, one of the African nations sending soldiers to help restore control, patrolled the streets, and French soldiers joined overnight patrols. The city market was slowly returning to normal.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Attack on Egypt security kills 11
  2. Foes of Pakistani PM labeled as ‘terrorists’ as protests continue
  3. United Kingdom at risk, new poll finds
  4. Pressure on European Central Bank grows as economic recovery founders
  5. Afghan power-sharing deal breaks down
  6. Ukraine rejects Russia’s call for cease-fire, warns of ‘great war’ against Russian aggressor
  7. ‘Holocaust T-shirt’ for kids discontinued in Spain
  8. China limits options for Hong Kong election
  9. Israel, Hamas accept Gaza war cease-fire
  10. Police, government blamed in U.K. child sex exploitation
  11. U.S., China to meet, just days after interception of Navy patrol plane
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.