Sunday, January 13, 2013

Fighter Jets - France Bombs Mali Rebels As More Troops Arrive In Bamako Reuters

Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:33am EST

BAMAKO/PARIS (Reuters) - French fighter jets bombed Islamist rebels with Mali for any third morning on Sunday when Paris mixed extra soldiers in to the budget Bamako, awaiting this introduction of the West African force that will dislodge al Qaeda-linked insurgents from your place's north.

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian claimed France's remarkable intervention about Friday to help bomb a convoy of seriously provided Islamist fighters travelling across southwards had ceased these folks coming from taking ownership of Mali's capital Bamako within days.

Western locations concern Islamists should use Mali being a base regarding attacks about the West, getting together your website link along with al Qaeda militants within Yemen, Somalia in addition to North Africa.

Le Drian mentioned former colonial power France was making endless bombing raids in opposition to the particular alliance of rebel groups, which will arrested the particular country's vast desert north in April.

"There are usually raids going upon now: there are quite a few past night, along with be ready become more tomorrow," Le Drian instructed French television. "The chief executive is definitely completely motivated that him and i need to remove all these terrorists which threaten the security associated with Mali, our own land and Europe."

Residents stated French aircraft bombed this northern village connected with Gao, and a Malian digital rebel spokesman said many people bombed spots inside this towns of Lere and Douentza.

Le Drian reported France had been deploying an additional contingent connected with 80 militia to Mali on Sunday, take the sum for you to 550 soldiers , divide concerning Bamako plus the town associated with Mopti, a few 500 km (300 miles) north. State-of-the-art Rafale killer jets will be dispatched to fortify the procedure on Sunday, he or she said.

A Reuters cameraman documented witnessing with Sunday a lot more than 100 French troops disembarking from a armed service products airplane during Bamako airport, just simply to the outskirts with the capital.

Bamako itself was calm upon Sunday, with all the sun streaking with the debris enveloping this city because the seasonal Harmattan wind blew on the Sahara. Some vehicles driven about using French flags draped from your home windows for you to rejoice Paris's intervention.

Hours once opening one entrance in opposition to al Qaeda-linked Islamists, France attached a commando raid for you to free a French hostage with Somalia held by way of al Shabaab militants allied in order to al Qaeda, but did not stop him appearing killed and a French commando.

A French pilot seemed to be killed about Friday while rebels inside Mali opportunity affordable his helicopter.

President Francois Hollande has managed to get clear which France's aim around Mali would be to help the actual deployment on the West African mission in order to retake that north, promoted because of the United Nations, this European Union as well as United States.

The 15-nation West African bloc ECOWAS convened a new summit to get Saturday in Ivory Coast in order to discuss the military campaign.

With Paris pressing West African nations around the world in order to release troops quickly, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, who holds the actual rotating ECOWAS chairmanship, has kick-started this functioning for you to deploy several 3,300 African soldiers.

Ouattara ended up being themself installed inside energy with French army support around 2011 after a brief city showdown initiated by way of original president Laurent Gbagbo's refusal to step aside following shedding a new the later part of 2010 election.

"The troops will begin starting throughout Bamako nowadays along with tomorrow," Ali Coulibaly, Ivory Coast's African Integration Minister, said. "They will always be convoyed into the prominent at Sevare."


Under include through French mma fighter air carriers and attack helicopters with Friday, Malian soldiers drove the Islamists out from the proper core village of Konna, which that they had seized every day earlier. A older person Malian army recognized said a lot more as compared with 100 rebel martial artists have been killed.

Military analysts stated doubt, however, that had been the beginning on the speedi operation for you to retake an entire regarding upper Mali - a harsh, sparsely filled ground the type connected with France - as neither of them machines nor floor troops were ready.

In Nigeria, that'll steer that ECOWAS force, a military recognized which requested to not ever be recognized said it might receive period to train and also equip the actual troops.

In Konna, quiet made a comeback after about three a short time involving combat.

"Soldiers tend to be patrolling that streets and have encircled this town," one resident, Madame Coulibaly, informed Reuters by phone. "They are searching residences regarding fists or perhaps hidden Islamists."

Another inhabitant explained the affiliate marketer setup roadblocks along the route north through Sevare to Konna plus had been verifying to get rebels. President Diouncounda Traore announced some sort of assert of emergency on Friday supplying the particular military capturing nations to handle is searching as well as power down elements with the country.

"The internet marketer is due to Konna . securing madrid and also to assure it really is safe," affiliate marketing online spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Diarran Kone said.

A citizen from the north area connected with Gao, one of several Islamists' strongholds, possessed described results regarding rebel martial artists ended up retreating northward in pickup truck pickup trucks on Saturday. In Bamako, some civilians tested out to be able to give rise to your battle effort.

"We are extremely incredibly and relieved that the army was able in order to commute your jihadists outside Konna. We expect it can possibly not end at this time there that is why I'm facilitating around this individual way," claimed municipal servant Ibrahima Kalossi, 32, one among around forty people who queued to be able to give blood vessels pertaining to wounded soldiers.

Concerned in relation to reprisals upon French soil, Hollande instructed Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault in order to tighten reliability inside France with public properties as well as upon criminal court transport.

France well-advised it is 6,000 individuals throughout Mali in order to leave. Thousands much more French live throughout West Africa, especially in Senegal and Ivory Coast.

Hollande's involvement around Mali could endanger tendencies French nationals appearing held by simply Islamists inside Sahara. A spokesman to get certainly one of Mali's digital rebel groups, Ansar Dine, reported on Saturday there will be repercussions.

"There are generally consequences, not merely for French hostages, but also for all those French citizens, wherever many people uncover themselves inside Muslim world," Sanda Ould Boumama told Reuters. "The hostages are generally facing death."

(Additional reporting Adama Diarra, Tiemoko Diallo plus Rainer Schwenzfeier around Bamako, Joe Bavier throughout Abidjan as well as Leila Aboud inside Paris; Writing by means of Daniel Flynn; Editing by Alison Williams)

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