Subscribe Register Login

Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 1:30 p.m.
Top Picks - Arkansas Daily Deal

French seize control of key Mali town of Diabaly

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published January 21, 2013 at 7:08 a.m. Updated January 21, 2013 at 8:11 a.m.

— French troops took control Monday of the Malian town of Diabaly, patrolling the streets in armored personnel carriers and inspecting the charred remains of a pickup with mounted machine gun left behind by the fleeing militants.

The armed Islamist fighters seized Diabaly a week ago but left after days of being pounded by French airstrikes, marking the first tangible victory by the French intervention forces.

The military operation is aimed at stopping the Islamists from encroaching toward the capital in Mali’s south from their strongholds in the vast, desert north of Mali.

Diabaly fell into rebel hands Jan. 14, and residents said those who fled were forced to escape on foot through rice fields. The Islamist fighters had insinuated themselves with civilians before leaving, though there was a possibility that some had remained. Malian soldiers on Diabaly’s outskirts set up roadblocks and checked identify papers of travelers.

“The reason this took so long, and what prevented the French planes from completely destroying these people [Islamists] is that they were hiding among the population,” said Gaoussou Kone, 34, the head of a local youth association. “In order to avoid human loss, the French were not able to strike them directly.”

Associated Press reporters saw French troops in camouflage uniforms take up positions in front of a Malian military camp in the town.

Islamists had seized the town just days after the French began their military operation Jan. 11. Diabaly marked the southernmost town under the control of the Islamists.

Comments on: French seize control of key Mali town of Diabaly

To report abuse or misuse of this area please hit the "Suggest Removal" link in the comment to alert our online managers. Read our Terms of Use policy.

Subscribe Register Login

You must login to make comments.

TOP JOBS

  • Tissueprocurementcoo

    tissue procurement coordinator central arkansasthe Arkansas ...
    LITTLE ROCK, AR

  • Building maintenance -need refs

    building maintenance-Need refs. pass drug & alcohol test. $1...
    LITTLE ROCK, AR

  • Student teachers

    spring 2014teacher job faircaddo parrishwe want you to becom...
    SHREVEPORT, LA

  • Coach

    licensed teacher/head basketball coach- Pine Bluff School Di...
    LITTLE ROCK, AR

  • Branch specialist

    join the truservice team Conway Experienced individual neede...
    LITTLE ROCK, AR

Search 803 jobs >

Top Picks - Arkansas Daily Deal
Arkansas Online