Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.

 

Troops set for jihadist strongholds in Mali

21 January 2013, 09:46

Bamako - French troops on Sunday consolidated gains in Mali's Islamist-held north as Paris said the aim was its "total re-conquest" and Canada, Germany and Russia offered vital aid for the offensive.

The al-Qaeda-linked group that shocked the world with its audacious hostage attack in neighbouring Algeria threatened meanwhile to stage further reprisal strikes on nations involved in chasing out Islamists from Mali.

The French advance towards the jihadist strongholds in Mali came amid reports that the militants were abandoning some of their positions and converging on the mountainous region of Kidal, their northernmost bastion, 1 500km from the capital Bamako and near the border with Algeria.

Kidal was the first town seized by an amalgam of Islamist militants and Tuareg separatist groups in March last year. The two sides then had a falling out and the Islamists have since gained the upper hand in the vast desert north.

"The goal is the total re-conquest of Mali," French Defence Minister Le Drian said in televised remarks. "We will not leave any pockets" of resistance.

Le Drian also said seven French citizens taken hostage by Islamist militants in Niger and Mali in recent years were alive, adding there had been "contacts with the hostage-takers".

There had been fears over their fate since the start of the French military intervention in Mali, which sparked the brazen attack on a gas plant in neighbouring Algeria and hostage-taking that rocked the world.

The 72-hour stand-off ended in scores of deaths Saturday.

On Sunday, the assailants, calling themselves Signatories in Blood, vowed "more operations in all the countries which have taken part in the crusade against Azawad if they do not review their decision", using the Islamist name for northern Mali.

"We remind our Muslim brothers of the need to clear out from sites run by foreign companies, especially the French ones, to save their lives," their statement said.


- AFP

NEXT ON NEWS24 KENYAX

Ivory Coast battles to keep out Ebola

18 September 2014, 12:01

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
5 rules to consider when dating t...

Dating your ex again might not be such a good idea, but there are some who want to test the waters. Read more...

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Jose Chameleon and Sauti Sol to s...

Sauti Sol and Jose Chameleon will share a stage, good news for their fans. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Is it time to end the relationshi...

Is it time to end the relationship? Here are signs that it is. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Kabogo: Duale should mind his own...

Kiambu Governor William Kabogo has told Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale to mind his own business over corruption claims. Read more...

Submitted by
Eugene Odanga
Gospel queen Jemimah Thiongo re-a...

Gospel queen Jemimah Thiongo is back in the scene with a hot new track. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
More than 30 million Kenyans use ...

More than 30 million Kenyans use mobile phones, the Communication Authority of Kenya has revealed. Read more...