Mali unrest update

 
 
 
  • This road sign shows the name of the gasfield where Islamists hold French, British and Japanese hostages. (Kjetil Alsvik, AFP)
  • Mokhtar Belmokhtar, shown on this pictures, is the former emir of the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and the man behind the hostage of January 17. (Ani, AFP)
  • This is the Amenas gasfield, the place where Islamist gunmen were holding dozens of Western hostages. It is not clear how many people are still there. (Kjetil Alsvik, AFP)
  • The hostage is a reaction to the French raid in neighboring country Mali. (Kjetil Alsvik, AFP)
  • The Algerian military launched an air and ground assault on the desert gas complex of Statoil to free the hostages. It got out of control and it is still not clear how many people are wounded or did not survive. (Kent Skibstad, AFP)
  • A Danish C130 Hercules aircraft gets charged on stand by in Aalborg Airport to leave for Mali. Denmark said it would support France's military offensive in Mali by providing a Hercules military transport plane that would help ferry French troops and equipment. (Royal Danish Air Force, AFP)
  • French soldiers arriving with armoured vehicles in Markala, Mali to secure a strategically important bridge. (Arnaud Roine, AFP)
  • After days of airstrikes on Islamist positions in the northern territory the rebel triad seized in April, French and Malian troops battled the insurgents in the small town of Diabaly, some 400 kilometres north of the capital Bamako.(Michel Moutot, AFP)
  • Togolese soldiers arrived in Mali yesterday, the first of those pledged by African nations to back a French-led offensive against Islamist rebels. (Fred Dufour, AFP)
  • West African troops have promised more than 3,000 soldiers to back Operation Serval. (Fred Dufour, AFP)
  • Togolese troops board a plane. (Emile Kouton, AFP)
  • Nigerian soldiers prepare to leave Kaduna for Mali. It is the first of a planned 900 Nigerian troops. (Victor Ulasi, AFP)
  • A soldier stands guard as Nigerian troops arrive at the airport in Bamako. Over one hundred Nigerian and Togolese soldiers arrived in Bamako today as part of the West African force meant to help French troops chase Islamists from their strongholds in northern Mali. (Issouf Sanogo, AFP)
  • Nigerian soldiers arrive at the airport in Bamako. (Issouf Sanogo, AFP)
  • A Malian police officers gestures at a checkpoint near Bamako Senou airport. France now has 1,400 troops on the ground in Mali. (Issouf Sanogo, AFP)
  • France won support from European Union nations Thursday for its military campaign in Mali and offers of military aid, possibly including troops, at emergency talks on the crisis. (Issouf Sanogo, AFP)
  • A Malian man sells flags, including French ones, on a street of Bamako. (Fred Dufour, AFP)
  • The normal life goes on in Mali with this man praying in Bamako. (Fred Dufour, AFP)
  • (Eric Feferberg, AFP)
  • (Eric Feferberg, AFP)
  • (Fred Dufour, AFP)