Mali extends state of emergency

2013-01-22 08:54


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Bamako - The government of Mali late on Monday extended a state of emergency in place since January 12 for three months amid a French-led military offensive to flush out al-Qaeda-linked Islamists from the north.

The decision was taken at a special cabinet meeting on the day that Malian and French soldiers recaptured two strategic towns, Diabaly and Douentza, in a major boost to the 11-day military campaign by French and Malian troops, a statement said.

"The military operations to liberate the occupied regions of our country are panning out well and the need to install a peaceful social climate throughout the country," were the reasons for extending the state of emergency, it said.

The state of emergency, which bans public gatherings and rallies and anything that can disrupt public order, was declared two days after the Islamist rebels took the central town of Konna, threatening the capital Bamako.

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