France routs last stronghold in Mali
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
TribLive commenting policy
- Antarctica yields life in extremest of conditions, so what about on another planet?
- Shiia militias in Iraq say they have assurances U.S. will stop strikes
- Iran poses top threat to Mideast stability, Israeli consul general says
- Saudis start airstrikes against Yemen
- Al-Qaida branch seizes Syrian city
- Germanwings flight co-pilot Lubitz worried about job security, officials say
- Impasse remains in Iran nuke talks
- Siberian theater director fired over Wagner opera
- Leaders wary of vote-rigging in Nigeria
- Co-pilot in Germanwings Alps crash treated for suicidal tendencies