Mali: French army secures key bridge

2013-01-16 13:32
French forces were involved in an attack aimed at repelling al-Qaeda-linked radicals pushing south towards the capital Bamako. (Pascal Guyot, AFP)

French forces were involved in an attack aimed at repelling al-Qaeda-linked radicals pushing south towards the capital Bamako. (Pascal Guyot, AFP)

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

kalahari.com

Markala - French troops on Wednesday secured a strategic bridge along the Niger river in western Mali, to block the advance of Islamist fighters south towards the capital Bamako.

"Our mission is to hold this bridge to prevent the enemy from accessing the south," Colonel Frederic of the 21st marine infantry regiment from Chad told AFP.

A military source said the Islamists were at least 80km north of Markala, putting them only 200km from Bamako.

The contingent of about 100 troops are travelling in about 20 vehicles which left Bamako airport on Tuesday to relieve French special forces soldiers who have been in place since last week, along with a few Malian soldiers.

The French forces have launched their first ground offensive since their air assault on the al-Qaeda-linked Islamists occupying Mali's north began on 11 January, to prevent the insurgents from advancing on the capital.

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the 800 troops already deployed in Mali faced a long and tough battle against determined fighters whose number he estimated at up to 1 300.

"It's a little more difficult in the west, where we have the toughest, most fanatical and best-organised groups. It's under way there but it's difficult," he said.

Read more on:    france  |  mali  |  west 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
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 19:35 PM
    Road name: M7 Vanguard Drive
    ROADWORKS - traffic restrictions between the R300 and Highlands Drive - expect delays
  • Tuesday Belhar - 17:58 PM
    Road name: Belhar Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Alabama Drive
 
More traffic reports...
 

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

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. 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

Samsung Galaxy Ace

A sleek combination of technology and sophisticated design, the Samsung...

From R1695.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is always easier to look out and see what needs changing. Looking in is a lot harder... Today you may need to look at what...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.