facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

France strikes Malian insurgents from air

Jan. 12, 2013 at 10:55 AM   |   Comments

PARIS, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- French forces struck Islamist militants in Mali from the air and ground Saturday as France sent troops to protect the capital, Bamako, defense officials said.

French troops, warplanes and drones supported Malian troops Friday in retaking the town of Konna, a settlement only miles from Mopti, the northernmost city controlled by the government, the BBC reported.

"Konna is under our control this evening but we are still conducting mopping-up operations," Lt. Col. Diarra Kone, a Mali military spokesman, said late Friday.

He warned that some rebels might still be in the town.

Kone said Nigerian and Senegalese forces had assisted in the battle, although Nigeria's defense minister had earlier denied any Nigerian troops were involved, CNN reported.

The number of French troops involved was not clear.

French President Francois Hollande announced the intervention Friday, saying al-Qaida groups that control the northern region of Mali threatened to turn the country into a "terrorist" state. He said French forces would be in the country "as long as necessary."

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the terrorists' advance in Mali must be stopped. If Mali were to fall into their hands, "the whole of Africa and Europe" would be threatened, he said.

The United Nations Security Council said the "serious deterioration of the situation ... constitutes a direct threat to international peace and security."

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Most Popular
1
Source: Ferguson cop beaten before shooting
2
Boko Haram overruns Nigerian police academy
3
Brady Morton's body discovered three days after Port Huron Float Down
4
Robert Hansen, notorious Alaska serial killer, dead at 75
5
Alleged jihadist charged with killing 4 in Washington, N.J.
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback