French forces launched several air strikes northern Mali to target rebels training centres 0402131

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French Armed Forces Operation Serval in Mali

 
 
Monday, February 4, 2013, 08:54 AM
 
French armed forces launched several air strikes in northern Mali to target rebels training centres.
French armed forces launched several air strikes, Saturday, February 2, 2013, overnight in the country's northern region which has been in hands of Islamist rebels since 10 months, spokesman for the French army said Sunday, February 3, 2013. Thirty jets targeted Islamist militants' training and communication centres around Tessalit - a mountainous area near the Algerian border.
     
French armed forces launched major air strikes, Saturday, February 2, 2013, overnight in the country's northern region which has been in hands of Islamist rebels since 10 months, spokesman for the French army said Sunday, February 3, 2013. Thirty jets targeted Islamist militants' training and communication centres around Tessalit - a mountainous area near the Algerian border.
A French fighter aircraft Rafale take-off for a combat mission over Mali.
     

Important air strikes... in north of Kidal and the Tessalit region" were taking place near Algerian border and where the presumed Islamist fighters were hiding after losing main Malian cities, French news channel BFMTV reported, citing Colonel Thierry Burkhard, spokesman for the French army.

Tessalit is about 200km (125 miles) north of Kidal and is a gateway to the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains, where rebels are believed to have sought refuge after being forced from the main population centres in the north and east of the country.

The air raid came a few hours after French President Franois Hollande's visit to the West African country. Thirty warplanes including jets fighters, reconnaissance aircrafts pounded Islamists's stronghold in northern Mali, according to Colonel Burkhard.

With 3,500 French soldiers and 2,000 African troops sent in to battle the rebels vowing to impose Sharia law throughout Mali, the Malian army has quickly taken back the northern towns of Cao, Timbuktu and Kidal, the capitals of the three northern regions sharing the same names respectively.

As French and Malian troops push into northern Mali, African troops from a U.N.-backed continental intervention force expected to number 7,700 are being flown into the country.

     

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