French, Mali troops finally seize town

2013-01-21 20:12
French and Malian troops have recaptured the Malian towns of Diabaly and Douentza from Islamist fighters. (Issouf Sanogo, AFP)

French and Malian troops have recaptured the Malian towns of Diabaly and Douentza from Islamist fighters. (Issouf Sanogo, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Bradt Guide Mali
    This title features information that ranges from elephant migrations to rock-climbing. Now R262.00
    buy now

Diabaly - French troops took control Monday of the Malian town of Diabaly, patrolling the streets in armoured personnel carriers and inspecting the charred remains of a pick-up truck with mounted machine gun left behind by the fleeing militants.

The armed Islamist fighters seized Diabaly a week ago but left after days of being pounded by French air strikes, marking the first tangible victory by the French intervention forces.

The military operation is aimed at stopping the Islamists from encroaching toward the capital in Mali's south from their strongholds in the vast, desert north of Mali.

Diabaly fell into rebel hands on 14 January, and residents said those who fled were forced to escape on foot through rice fields. Some Islamist fighters had insinuated themselves with civilians before leaving. There was a possibility that some had remained.

Malian soldiers on Diabaly's outskirts set up roadblocks and checked identify papers of travellers.

"The reason this took so long, and what prevented the French planes from completely destroying these people [Islamists] is that they were hiding among the population," said Gaoussou Kone, 34, the head of a local youth association. "In order to avoid human loss, the French were not able to strike them directly."

Associated Press reporters saw French troops in camouflage uniforms take up positions in front of a Malian military camp in the town.

Islamists had seized the town just days after the French began their military operation on 11 January. Diabaly marked the southernmost town under the control of the Islamists.

Malian military officials reported late on Saturday that they had retaken the town after Islamists fled, but French officials later said on Sunday that the town had not been recaptured.

On Monday, about 200 French infantrymen supported by six combat helicopters and reconnaissance planes made their way to Diabaly.

- AP
Read more on:    mali  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Wine
 

You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

You might not know what a Tsunami Flip is, but just watching this will turn your eyes into saucers. Check out this first-ever MTB Tsunami Flip in contest here.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?
Top tips to ensure you’re running right
Stand-up paddle boarding a great workout

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Power and leadership are emphasized today. It is important to strategize and delegate well otherwise you may end up with too much...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.