Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby Alexis » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:49 pm

After Jihadist offensive, (Mali's President) Traoré asks for French military help
(in French)

After Konna's fall and given worrying progress of radical Islamists towards Mopti, interim Malian president Dioncounda Traoré officially asked for France's military help to counter the Jihadist offensive. He is planned to address the Nation in the evening of Friday January 11th on national television.
(...)
That tells volumes about the emergency situation in Mali.
(...)
« French decisions will be announced in Paris tomorrow (Friday)», said the French ambassador to the UN.
(...)
The UN Security Council adopted on Thursday a resolution approved by its 15 members asking for "quick deployment" of the international force in Mali given «grave deterioration of situation on the field»
(...)
US ambassador Susan Rice told that Bamako had asked for external support, in particular from France. Describing President Traoré's letter to François Hollande, she explained: « It was saying, in summary: "help, France" ! ».
(...)
One of the witnesses working at the airport told about Whites being among the soldiers. « I saw arrival of C-160 (military transport) cargos. They unloaded weapons and men. Some of the men had white skins.», said this worker in Sévaré airport (more than 650 km to Bamako's north).

(my translation)

Islamists who seized control of northern part of Mali months ago are described in this October 2012 piece by BBC:
Mali Islamists 'buying child soldiers, imposing Sharia'
Islamists who seized control of part of Mali are amassing money from ransoms and drug trafficking while imposing Sharia law, says a senior UN official.
They are also buying child soldiers, paying families $600 (£375) per child, Ivan Simonovic said after a fact-finding visit to the country.
(...)
Women's rights were being particularly restricted, said Mr Simonovic, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, citing the compilation of a "frightening" list of unmarried women who were pregnant or had borne children.
More women were being forced into marriage - with a wife costing less than $1,000 - and some were then being resold in "a smokescreen for enforced prostitution", added Mr Simonovic.
(...)
So far, he said, there had been three public executions, eight amputations and two floggings.


:arrow: No rights for women, up to and including forced prostitutions, purchase of child soldiers, inhumane punishments... The works. :evil:

For several months, the French government has been wringing its hands about intervention or not - the Malian government asks for it, so as to get rid of Jihadists and recover control of their legitimate territory. A force was approved, its deployment was to begin... oh so slowly.

Now, the emergency is there.
«We are now in Konna for jihad», said on Thursday a representative of armed group Ansar Dine, Abdou Dardar. «We control the city almost in totality. Then we are going to continue». He affirmed to be talking in the name of the three Jihadist groups presently occupying the North, Ansar Dine, Al-Qaeda au Maghreb islamique (Aqmi) and Mujao.
(...)
Deployment of this 3,000-strong force was authorized by the Security Council on December 20th but will take several weeks, if not months. Witnesses contacted by AFP said the Army had abandoned Konna.

(my translation)

According to this generally well-informed military blog,
A defense council was held this morning (Friday) at the Elysée on the issue. "We are facing naked aggression puting in jeopardy the very existence of Mali" declared François Hollande afterwards.
(...)
Sévaré (where forces were unloaded from planes) is less than 60 kilometers from the city of Konna, now held by jihadists. To be clear, Western forces are now facing a thousand Islamist fighters - said to have a column of a hundred weaponized 4x4. France has enough air capability in the vicinity (N'Djaména) to give a serious pause to a moving column.



I don't have a very high idea of Hollande. But I can't imagine him doing nothing in face of naked aggression against a friendly country by a hord of Jihadists. I earnestly hope that minimum level of confidence not to be misplaced...
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Re: Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby Azrael » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:45 am

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Re: Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby Ibrahim » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:10 am

The lazy media comparisons between these groups in Mali and "al Qaeda" is misleading. This isn't a terrorist organization that conceals itself and plots attacks within a given society, they are tribal rebels of the kind Saint-Exupery was writing about 75 years ago. I'm sure their religious views and customs are incredibly backwards by modern standards, but then this is true of every traditionalist holdout population. I'm also sure that they are capitalizing on the leading "brands" in revolutionary and extremist movements today, but to view this as part of a concerted global movement is, frankly, stupid.

Why does France want to help out Mali? I don't see an upside to it, and they will likely end up causing more harm than they prevent, but there is the possibility of quickly putting an end to a revolt before it becomes and ongoing civil war. They also risk more potential blowback than, say, the US would, given their proximity to the region and their larger Muslim population.
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Re: Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby Hans Bulvai » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:47 am

I read an interesting perspective today.
One that had to do with Algeria opening its airspace to Paris for the bombing campaign.
The author mentioned Algerians' decision to not have an Arab spring; not because they like the scumbag ruling the country but because the ghost of their brutal civil war not too long ago is still fresh in their minds. I guess they chose tyranny over anarchy but that was not the point. His point was that since the powers that be could not genuflect Algeria up like they did the rest of the countries in that space, this was plan B. Now Algeria will be in the cross hairs of the "Islamists" which it already has a problem with but this time it will be different. The fall of the Libyan regime introduced more weapons into tthe mix that even the French are now admitting that these rebels are better equiped and trained than they had anticipated. This will not be a cake walk. But Mali is rich in minerals and borders some large oil producers. I expect the drones to be taking off from Libya very soon.

Poor Africa.

And where is Mr. Perfect. He was right. The left (Hollande, Obama) likes killing just as much as the right (Sarkozy, W.).
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Re: Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:57 am

.

not familiar with issue .. but .. am sure .. this not about Jihad or any other rubbish .. France plundering African natural resources and probably Africans now fighting back, this an anti colonial war .. and Algerian junta in bed with west


http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/avoiding-wars-never-end


France retains interests in its former colonial empire in Africa, and Mali is at the geographic center of these interests. To the north of Mali is Algeria, where France has significant energy investments; to the east of Mali is Niger, where France has a significant stake in the mining of mineral resources, particularly uranium; and to the south of Mali is Ivory Coast, where France plays a major role in cocoa production.



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Re: Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby Juggernaut Nihilism » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:22 pm

I thought the French were supposed to be all anti this kind of lavender... First the IC now this? They need to quit playing.
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Re: Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby Enki » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:28 pm

Ibrahim wrote:The lazy media comparisons between these groups in Mali and "al Qaeda" is misleading. This isn't a terrorist organization that conceals itself and plots attacks within a given society, they are tribal rebels of the kind Saint-Exupery was writing about 75 years ago. I'm sure their religious views and customs are incredibly backwards by modern standards, but then this is true of every traditionalist holdout population. I'm also sure that they are capitalizing on the leading "brands" in revolutionary and extremist movements today, but to view this as part of a concerted global movement is, frankly, stupid.

Why does France want to help out Mali? I don't see an upside to it, and they will likely end up causing more harm than they prevent, but there is the possibility of quickly putting an end to a revolt before it becomes and ongoing civil war. They also risk more potential blowback than, say, the US would, given their proximity to the region and their larger Muslim population.


I dunno, the globalists show up whenever this sort of failed state situation occurs. "My friend, my friend, I have support from my rich friends overseas, here have some guns, we can setup a base and train and..."
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Re: Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby Ibrahim » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:56 am

Enki wrote:
Ibrahim wrote:The lazy media comparisons between these groups in Mali and "al Qaeda" is misleading. This isn't a terrorist organization that conceals itself and plots attacks within a given society, they are tribal rebels of the kind Saint-Exupery was writing about 75 years ago. I'm sure their religious views and customs are incredibly backwards by modern standards, but then this is true of every traditionalist holdout population. I'm also sure that they are capitalizing on the leading "brands" in revolutionary and extremist movements today, but to view this as part of a concerted global movement is, frankly, stupid.

Why does France want to help out Mali? I don't see an upside to it, and they will likely end up causing more harm than they prevent, but there is the possibility of quickly putting an end to a revolt before it becomes and ongoing civil war. They also risk more potential blowback than, say, the US would, given their proximity to the region and their larger Muslim population.


I dunno, the globalists show up whenever this sort of failed state situation occurs. "My friend, my friend, I have support from my rich friends overseas, here have some guns, we can setup a base and train and..."


Yeah, the AQ guys of the original type ( the so-called "Afghan Arabs" who were rich Saudis and Egyptians who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan just for something to do, then formed the original al Qaeda) are always going to flock to these places. They are in Syria, in Mali, in Afghanistan. Still, that doesn't make them the prime movers behind the whole thing, or the majority of those fighting. The Taliban, the FSA, and in this case Tuareg and Bedouin rebels, are the bulk of these movements, and the motives for it beginning are distinct from and independent of any AQ meddlers.
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Re: Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby Alexis » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:08 pm

Here is an October 2012 report by Germany's most prominent newsmagazine Der Spiegel about life in Islamist-held Northern Mali.

(this dates back three months before these Islamists attacked the part of Mali not yet under their control, threatening to collapse Malian army and take the capital, prompting French military reaction to stop the attack)

A Trip Through Hell: Daily Life in Islamist Northern Mali
For months, an Islamist regime has been terrorizing northern Mali. Hundreds of thousands have already fled the region, and those who have stayed behind are experiencing new forms of cruelty with each passing day. A SPIEGEL reporter documents a two-week journey through a region Europe fears will become the next Somalia.
(...)
Mali has been a divided country since April, when Islamists took control of a region in the north larger than France, while the south is still administered by a government that is incapable of defending itself.
This spring, forces with the Tuareg ethnic group drove the Malian army out of the country's northern regions within only a few weeks. They proclaimed the Tuareg nation of Azawad, which no nation in the world has recognized.
Then came the Islamists, armed to the teeth with what was left of the arsenal of the former Gadhafi regime in nearby Libya. The Islamists are also well connected with al-Qaida fighters who for some years now have found a safe haven in the Maghreb region of North Africa and the countries of the Sahel zone south of the Sahara Desert.
Those Tuareg who didn't join the Islamists were driven out. The fronts of buildings in Gao still show traces of the power struggle between the two groups, including bullet holes and blackened and crumbling walls.
(...)
Around 400,000 people have already fled the Islamists. Most who have left represent the better-educated parts of the work force, like the engineers who kept the power plant and waterworks in operation. Foreign aid organizations are gone, as are government officials who were in the process of implementing a new road construction program.
"Gao is a dead city," says Allassane Amadou Touré, a mechanic, as he drinks tea in the shade. He is unemployed, like many in the city, and says that Gao's economic output has "declined by 85 percent" since the spring.
(...)
The Sharia court uses a former military base outside the city to carry out its grisly punishments. One of its victims is Alhassane Boncana Maiga, who was found guilty of stealing cattle. Four guards drag Maiga, wearing a white robe, into a dark room and tie him to a chair, leaving only one hand free. A doctor gives the victim an injection for the pain.
Then Omar Ben Saïd, the senior executioner, pulls a knife out of its sheath. "In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful," he calls out, takes the convicted man's hand and begins to slice into it, as blood squirts out. It becomes more difficult when Saïd reaches the bone, and it's a full three minutes before the hand drops into a bucket. The executioner reaches for his mobile phone, calls his superior and says: "The man has been punished." (...) A few days later, Maiga is dead, probably as a result of blood loss or an infection.


This article is quite informative regarding relations between Tuaregs of Northern Mali and the Islamists who fought them into submission.
Also about the practical consequences of these Islamists ruling, such as mass of refugees flying from them, economic collapse and barbary in power.
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Re: Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby Ibrahim » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:57 pm

Most of the actual fighters are tribesmen, they don't want a modern economy. The settled people rolled over by these rebels get totally screwed over, but this is actually the kind of state that the rebel groups want to create. They are rebelling out of a kind of anti-modernism. This is why they are allied to al-Qaeda, which wants the same thing but from a different starting point. The AQ ideologues are nerds who were radicalized by clerics or university professors in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the tribesmen are already "barbarians" waiting for a reason to fight.


French forces can almost certainly push the rebels out of the towns they have seized, but they won't be able to wipe them out. It will turn into a tumor where AQ types grow faster than they can be killed, like in Yemen.
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Re: Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:38 pm

Ibrahim wrote:.

Most of the actual fighters are tribesmen, they don't want a modern economy. The settled people rolled over by these rebels get totally screwed over, but this is actually the kind of state that the rebel groups want to create. They are rebelling out of a kind of anti-modernism. This is why they are allied to al-Qaeda, which wants the same thing but from a different starting point. The AQ ideologues are nerds who were radicalized by clerics or university professors in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the tribesmen are already "barbarians" waiting for a reason to fight.


French forces can almost certainly push the rebels out of the towns they have seized, but they won't be able to wipe them out. It will turn into a tumor where AQ types grow faster than they can be killed, like in Yemen.

.




West should leave Africa .. as Gandhi said , Africa for Africans, Palestine for Palestinians :lol: :lol:


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Re: Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby Alexis » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:25 pm

The Ward Nerd insists that Mali is not Iraq & that having been wrong supporting invasion of Iraq should not lead one to systematically say that all Western interventions...

Extract:
Ever since GG blotted his copybook backing Iraq, he’s played the principled non-interventionist with all the irritating simple-mindedness of a reformed drunk. His new view, nice and simple, is that all intervention is bad, everywhere and every time.

So when GG hears that the French Army has intervened in Mali, his first-generation moral software picks up the word “intervention” and does the rest, a nice simple Jetsons way of dealing with a wiggly, complicated world. Intervention = Bad; Mali = Intervention; therefore Mali = bad. It’s as dumb as something by that buffoon Socrates.

(...)


(more at the link) :lol:
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Re: Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby Ibrahim » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:59 am

The "War Nerd's" dude-bro blog writing is a joke, but obviously the situation in Mali is extremely different than Iraq. Its also different than how Brecher perceives it. I'm sympathetic to Greenwald not wanting to see more Western military aircraft burn up brown families (though it would be more convincing from somebody who fell for the Iraq War 2.0 propaganda), and there is a decent chance he's proven right in the long term, but there is also a chance that short, sharp action could cut a rather depressing Taliban-style takeover of Mali off at the knee. Provided the French don't go the Afghanistan route and make themselves as or more unpopular than the alternative.
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Re: Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby Ibrahim » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:04 am

And I should add, France's recent record of "short, sharp" interventions in Africa has been pretty good. I give them better odds of pulling this off with minimal collateral damage and political fallout than any other NATO/Western power.

It's one of those "who knew?" things. I didn't start paying attention until their mid-2000's Congo intervention.
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Re: Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby Alexis » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:51 am

Ibrahim wrote:there is also a chance that short, sharp action could cut a rather depressing Taliban-style takeover of Mali off at the knee. Provided the French don't go the Afghanistan route and make themselves as or more unpopular than the alternative.


I agree that it is the crux of the matter.

For the time being the various noises and public pronouncements about policy seem well oriented: French not here to stay beyond time when Jihadist have been repelled, West African troops to help Malians in the slightly long term, need for Malian democracy to reconstruct after the recent series of coups/ instability, openness for negotiation with non-Jihadist Tuaregs combined with will to eradicate Jihadists.

Will have to be confirmed during next months, of course.
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Re: Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby Alexis » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:52 am

This interview of (Ivory Coast President) Ouattara is interesting.
(note that the figures in this interview are a bit old: African countries now plan to jointly deploy 5,000+ troops alongside Malian & French, and Chad will deploy on its own close to 2,000)

Spiegel is a German newsmagazine, Ouattara was requesting for German troops to help the French ones, which won't happen & is not important. What is enlightening is Ouattara's explanations of why the situation in Mali is not comparable to that of Afghanistan.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Europe and America fear a new Afghanistan, an endless military mission without recognizable steps toward democracy. Is there a threat of disaster in Mali?

Ouattara: I don't see any parallels. In Mali, there's only a small number of terrorists. Most of them are foreigners. The fundamentalism has no support from the people. Another advantage is that no neighboring country supports the Islamists at home.


These are the basic reasons for optimism in Jihadists being uprooted and Mali progressively put back on its own two feet, rather than a quagmire to begin. Of course, risks always exist, but they are relatively small.
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Re: Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby Ibrahim » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:46 pm

Alexis wrote:
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Europe and America fear a new Afghanistan, an endless military mission without recognizable steps toward democracy. Is there a threat of disaster in Mali?

Ouattara: I don't see any parallels. In Mali, there's only a small number of terrorists. Most of them are foreigners. The fundamentalism has no support from the people. Another advantage is that no neighboring country supports the Islamists at home.


Weeeell, he's mostly right but there are significant numbers of Tuaregs that are Malians and don't want to live like the rest of the country, and they've been fighting about it for some time. The current catalyst is indeed foreign fighters from other North African and Arab states, and their fundamentalism is different that the tribal traditionalism of the Tuaregs, so they are not one and the same, but there is a domestic rebel movement independent of that.





I was saddened to read today that some 100,000 ancient manuscripts are missing from Timbuktu, dating back to the Songhai or Malian empires of the middle ages, and some even earlier. Though apparently many were removed and hidden before the Salafists arrived, to prevent them from being destroyed. A few do seem to have been burnt, and maybe others stolen. It will be difficult to reassemble this historic collection, one that most people are unaware of and pertaining to an entire period of history and culture that most people are unaware of.
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Re: Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby Taboo » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:59 am

I love playing as Mali in Crusader Kings 2, and building an Islamic empire from Timbuktu. Sad to hear about the loss of priceless manuscripts.
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Re: Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby Typhoon » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:00 pm

Ibrahim wrote: . . .

I was saddened to read today that some 100,000 ancient manuscripts are missing from Timbuktu, dating back to the Songhai or Malian empires of the middle ages, and some even earlier. Though apparently many were removed and hidden before the Salafists arrived, to prevent them from being destroyed. A few do seem to have been burnt, and maybe others stolen. It will be difficult to reassemble this historic collection, one that most people are unaware of and pertaining to an entire period of history and culture that most people are unaware of.


I know zip about the situation in Mali.

However, when I read about such actions my visceral reaction is "kill the bastards who did it."
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Platonic Book Burning May Have Cratered Ancient Greek Scienc

Postby monster_gardener » Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:48 pm

Typhoon wrote:
Ibrahim wrote: . . .

I was saddened to read today that some 100,000 ancient manuscripts are missing from Timbuktu, dating back to the Songhai or Malian empires of the middle ages, and some even earlier. Though apparently many were removed and hidden before the Salafists arrived, to prevent them from being destroyed. A few do seem to have been burnt, and maybe others stolen. It will be difficult to reassemble this historic collection, one that most people are unaware of and pertaining to an entire period of history and culture that most people are unaware of.


I know zip about the situation in Mali.

However, when I read about such actions my visceral reaction is "kill the bastards who did it."


Thank You VERY Much for your post, Typhoon.

Seconded but sometimes it gets messy when the book burner is normally considered a Philosopher King Hero...........

Have been reading an old ;) book: Cosmos by Carl Sagan
In the section about the rise and fall of ancient Greek science, he mentions that Plato advocated the burning of all the works of Democritus of the Atomic Theory......

May be a coincidence but all 75 books that Democritus wrote are lost except where they were quoted by someone else......

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristarchus_of_Samos

IIRC Sagan said Aristarchus of the Heliocentric System and much more correct science had similar problems with critics........

Perhaps appropriately Aristarchus is the brightest feature on the visible surface of the Moon and Plato is one of the darkest.........

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristarchus_of_Samos

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristarchus_%28crater%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plato_%28crater%29

But there may be other reasons for that.... ;) :twisted:


In any case. Chaos Monkeys are often springs that alternately give both sweet and salt water.............
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Re: Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby Ibrahim » Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:43 am

Typhoon wrote:
Ibrahim wrote: . . .

I was saddened to read today that some 100,000 ancient manuscripts are missing from Timbuktu, dating back to the Songhai or Malian empires of the middle ages, and some even earlier. Though apparently many were removed and hidden before the Salafists arrived, to prevent them from being destroyed. A few do seem to have been burnt, and maybe others stolen. It will be difficult to reassemble this historic collection, one that most people are unaware of and pertaining to an entire period of history and culture that most people are unaware of.


I know zip about the situation in Mali.

However, when I read about such actions my visceral reaction is "kill the bastards who did it."


Wait, it gets better. They also destroyed some tombs of local "saints" (the Islamic/Sufi equivalent). The Salafists/Wabbabists are totally incompatible with both Saharan and sub-Saharan traditional Islam.

This, among other reasons, is why the French intervention has been so locally popular.
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Re: Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby Azrael » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:49 am

The French experience so far in Mali stands in stark contrast to the Bush strategy of going where we're not wanted, doing whatever we can to offend the locals and using more and more indiscriminate firepower the worse things get. The French seem to be more effective in military matters than the U.S., while spending less than a tenth as much.
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Re: Jihadist Offensive in Mali - France to intervene?

Postby YMix » Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:03 pm

French forces in Mali have killed or captured 10 members of an Islamist group which claimed responsibility for a hotel massacre last month, the defence ministry in Paris says.

The operation took place on Saturday night near Menaka in eastern Mali.

Arms and vehicles were seized during the four-hour fire fight, the ministry said in a statement (in French).
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