January 20, 2013 |
BAMAKO, Mali - Radical Islamists have fled a key Malian town because of French air strikes that began after they seized Diabaly nearly one week ago, the Malian military and fleeing residents said late Saturday. A Malian military spokesman, Capt. Modibo Traore, said Saturday soldiers had secured the town. The departure of the Islamists from Diabaly marks a success for the French-led military intervention that began Jan. 11 to oust the Islamists from northern and central Mali. Last week, the Malian military was able to retake another key town, Konna, whose capture had sparked the French intervention.
January 19, 2013
Timbuktu, for most Americans, has been one of those exotic names one might hear in an old movie, or see on the pages of some night-stand novel conjuring dreamy images of a faraway, mystical place. But Timbuktu is real, and so is the war in which that region of the West African nation of Mali is embroiled. It is a conflict rooted in the war on terror in which the United States, appropriately, is taking a lesser role - having quit Iraq, and likely accelerating its withdrawal from Afghanistan.
January 18, 2013 |
Breaking News update: ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) - Algerian official: 20 foreign hostages, including Americans, escape from their captors. More to come; the original story is below: ALGIERS, Algeria - As Algerian army helicopters clattered overhead deep in the desert, Islamist extremists hunkered down for the night in a natural gas complex they had assaulted Wednesday morning, killing two people and taking dozens of foreigners hostage in...
January 17, 2013 |
BAMAKO, Mali - After a punishing bombing campaign failed to halt the advance of al-Qaeda-linked fighters, France pledged Tuesday to triple the size of its force in Mali, sending in hundreds more troops as it prepared for a land assault to dislodge the militants occupying the northern half of the country. The move reversed France's earlier insistence on providing only aerial and logistical support for a military intervention led by African ground troops. France plunged headfirst into the conflict in its former colony last week, bombarding the insurgents' training camps, arms depots and safe houses in an effort to shatter the Islamist domination of a region many fear could become a launching pad for terrorist attacks on the West and a magnet for extremists from around the world.
January 15, 2013 |
BAMAKO, Mali - Despite a punishing bombardment by French warplanes, al-Qaeda-linked insurgents grabbed more territory in Mali on Monday, seizing a strategic military camp that brought them far closer to the government's seat of power. Declaring France had "opened the gates of hell" with its assault, the rebels threatened retribution. "France . . . has fallen into a trap much more dangerous than Iraq, Afghanistan, or Somalia," said Omar Ould Hamaha, a leader of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, one of the rebel groups controlling the north, speaking on Europe 1 radio.
January 12, 2013 |
BAMAKO, Mali - France launched air strikes Friday to help the government of Mali defeat al-Qaeda-linked militants who captured more ground this week, dramatically raising the stakes in the battle for this vast desert nation. French President Francois Hollande said the "terrorist groups, drug traffickers, and extremists" in northern Mali "show a brutality that threatens us all. " He vowed that the operation would last "as long as necessary. " France said it was taking the action in Mali at the request of President Dioncounda Traore, who declared a state of emergency because of the militants' advance.
December 12, 2012 |
BAMAKO, Mali - Soldiers arrested Mali's prime minister and forced him to resign before dawn Tuesday, showing that the military remains the real power in this troubled West African nation despite handing back authority to civilians after a March coup. The ouster comes as the United Nations considers backing a military intervention in Mali, a once-stable country now in turmoil. By late Tuesday, a new prime minister had been named, but the developments drew international rebuke and raised questions on the viability of the military operation, which would use the country's military to try to take back Mali's north from Islamic extremists.
December 4, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - The top U.S. military commander in Africa warned Monday against any premature military action in Mali, even as he said that al-Qaeda-linked extremists have strengthened their hold on the northern part of the country. Army Gen. Carter Ham said that any military intervention done now would likely fail and would set the precarious situation there back "even farther than they are today. " The African Union and United Nations are currently discussing the funding, troops, and other assistance necessary to take back northern Mali from the extremists who took control earlier this year.
November 21, 2012 |
BAMAKO, Mali - Islamist extremist rebels say they have pushed secular Tuareg rebel fighters from Menaka, their last base in northern Mali. Oumar Ould Hamaha, spokesman of the Islamists of MUJAO, said the Tuaregs were forced to retreat from Menaka on Tuesday after heavy fighting. He said Menaka was under the Islamists' control. "I do not have an accurate record of the dead, but more than 100 fighters were killed," said Hamaha. He said the Islamists were hunting for Mohamed Najim, the Tuareg military leader.
October 30, 2012 |
ALGIERS, Algeria - Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sought Algeria's assistance Monday for any future military intervention in Mali, pressing the North African nation to provide intelligence - if not boots on the ground - to help rout the al-Qaeda-linked militants across its southern border. Clinton, on the first stop of a five-day trip overseas, met with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika as the United States and its allies ramped up preparations to fight northern Mali's breakaway Islamist republic.