France continues air strikes with Rafale fighter aircraft against Islamist rebels in Mali 1301131

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Defence News - Mali

 
 
Sunday, January 13, 2013, 08:50 PM
 
France continues air strikes with Rafale fighter aircraft against Islamist rebels in Mali.
Four French Rafale fighter jets bombed Islamist rebel positions near the northern Malian town of Gao on Sunday, January 13, 2013, the French defense ministry confirmed. The strike destroyed Islamist bases and forced the insurgents to flee, an earlier AFP report quoted residents as saying.
     
Four French Rafale fighter jets bombed Islamist rebel positions near the northern Malian town of Gao on Sunday, January 13, 2013, the French defense ministry confirmed. The strike destroyed Islamist bases and forced the insurgents to flee, an earlier AFP report quoted residents as saying.
A photo released on Jan. 12, 2013 by French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD) shows French soldiers prepare to board on a fighter plane to Mali on Jan. 11, 2013 at Kossei camp at the French military base of N'Djamena in Chad.
     

France first intervened Friday, January 11, 2013, dropping bombs and firing rockets from helicopter gunships and jet fighters after the Islamists, who already control the north of Mali, pressed southward and overran the village of Konna, which had been the de facto line of government control. French officials said the attacks had pushed the rebels back from Konna and destroyed a rebel command center, though it was unclear if Malian forces controlled the village.

France and the United States aim to assist African and Malian troops to restore government authority in the north by providing surveillance and intelligence, including the use of spy planes and drones, as well as by helping with logistics and the transport of troops and equipment.

French aircraft pounded Islamist rebels in Mali Saturday, January 12, 2013, killing up to 100 rebel fighters, according to a senior army officer in the capital Bamako.

A French pilot died on Friday, January 11, 2013, when his helicopter was shot down near the central Mali town of Mopti.

 

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