Hunt for jihadists goes on in Mali
GAO, Mali — Malian soldiers scoured the city of Gao on Monday for remnants of the radical Islamic fighters who invaded the town and engaged in an hours-long fight with soldiers before French and Malian forces regained control.
Sunday's brazen assault marked the first time the jihadists had penetrated the city of mud-walled buildings since they fled two weeks ago. The attack showed the al-Qaida-linked militants' intent to fight for control of Gao, which they had ruled for nearly 10 months.
However, French President Francois Hollande said his goal is that “not one space of Mali's territory be under the control of terrorists.”
“The essential part of the Malian territory is today liberated, but we haven't finished our task. There are still terrorist pockets, notably in the extreme north of Mali, and operations are still being conducted by a certain number of groups,” Hollande said from Paris.
Lt. Col. Salihou Maiga with the national police said at least 14 suspects had been arrested in searches in the area and would be transferred to Bamako, the capital.
At least five of them were being held inside a building that smelled of urine with a tiny barred window. The metal door was secured with two padlocks. Inside the police station, at least eight people facing interrogation by authorities sat on the floor without restraints.
“People were terrorized by Sunday's attack, but all the people have returned to the city now,” Maiga said. “Calm has been restored.”
At least six French armored personnel carriers patrolled the empty downtown streets where the black-robed Islamic radicals had battled for more than five hours with Malian soldiers the day before. The checkpoint to the city where suicide bombers have now twice targeted Malian soldiers also was heavily fortified.
“Our forces are right now patrolling the city to dismantle the pockets of resistance,” said Daouda Sidiki Dembele, a communications officer with the Malian army in Gao.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Russian diplomat Lavrov accuses West of seeking ‘regime changee_SSRq
- North Korean student escapes abduction bid in Paris