Skip to comments.Malian and French forces retakes key town from rebels
Posted on 01/18/2013 9:26:09 AM PST by JerseyanExile
The Malian army, supported by French forces, has retaken control of the central town of Konna which fell to rebel fighters advancing from the north earlier this month and sparked France's military intervention.
"We have wrested total control of Konna after inflicting heavy losses on the enemy," an army statement said on Friday.
A spokesperson from the al-Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Dine rebel group confirmed to Al Jazeeras Mohammed Adow that its fighters pulled out of the town.
"They withdrew from the town after [incurring] huge casualties in the fighting in the town. They say they will continue their fighting in other parts of the north of Mali," Adow said from the Malian capital Bamako.
He said that fighting is continuing in other towns where French and Malian forces have admitted encountering "stiff resistance" from rebel fighters.
Armed groups that have controlled northern Mali since April pushed south into government-held territory and seized Konna, about 700km by road from Bamako, on January 10.
The takeover prompted former colonial ruler France to intervene to stop the rebel advance. Initially the French role was limited to air power, but it has since launched ground offensives with troops.
The area is not accessible to independent observers.
Nigeria has boosted its troop allotment for Mali to 1,200 soldiers from 900 planned earlier as part of an African force aimed at helping to retake the north, officials said Friday.
In a letter to the country's Senate on Thursday, President Goodluck Jonathan said he had, "in consultation with the National Defence Council, approved the development of a contingent of 1,200 members of the armed forces."
It said the soldiers would be deployed "for limited combat duties". Nigeria will also command the African force.
(Excerpt) Read more at aljazeera.com ...
Wow - even the French understand that winning a war means killing your enemy.
Compare/contracts to the ROE of American forces in Afghanistan...
They need to go all the way to Timbuktu.
The French government is a bunch of liberal morons, but their military doesn’t screw around.