TribLIVE

| USWorld


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

France routs last stronghold in Mali

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Los Angeles Times
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, 9:22 p.m.
 

SEGOU, Mali — French forces seized control of the town of Kidal in northeastern Mali — the last remaining urban stronghold in the country for Islamic militants, officials said Wednesday.

The overnight offensive was the latest success in advances in which al-Qaida-linked militants were ousted from two other major cities, Gao and Timbuktu, since Saturday, officials said.

Unlike previous operations, Malian soldiers were not involved in Kidal, according to French news media. A rebel group said it would not accept the Malian army in the town.

Haminy Maiga, interim president of Kidal's regional assembly, reportedly said that French troops were patrolling and helicopters were circling.

According to Maiga, the Tuareg rebel group that announced it had taken control of Kidal from Islamist militias was gone from the center of town. Members of the rebel group — the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, or MNLA —were on the outskirts of town, he said.

The Islamist militias reportedly withdrew, melting away into the vast northern reaches of Mali, an area the size of France, and some members defected. France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said France, Mali's former colonial ruler, would withdraw from the country swiftly after removing Islamist militias from major urban centers.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Abbas seeks talks on U.N. Security Council resolution for Palestinian state
  2. Colombia shuns rebels’ truce, saying conditions unacceptable
  3. Bad day for Israel: U.N. criticizes West Bank settlements; Hamas off EU terror list
  4. Russia says it has right to put nukes in Crimea
  5. 15,000 ‘pinstriped Nazis’ march in Dresden to protest Islamic extremism
  6. Air traffic control center computer failure cancels flights in London
  7. Lay off, Turkey’s President Erdogan tells his European Union critics
  8. Mental illness, ideology can be deadly mix, producing ‘lone-wolf’ terrorists
  9. Taliban siege at Pakistani school ends with 141 dead
  10. Cuba hip-hop mission ‘just plain stupid’
  11. Palestinian who attacks Israeli family with acid at West Bank intersection then shot
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.