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Keyword: maliwar

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  • Fifth French soldier killed in Mali fighting

    03/17/2013 12:07:48 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 24 replies
    Times of India ^ | Sunday, March 17, 2013 | Reuters
    A fifth French soldier was killed in the nine-week-old military campaign against Islamist rebels in Mali, the French government said on Sunday. The corporal from the 1st Marine infantry regiment of Angouleme was killed in action, President Francois Hollande's office said in a statement, without giving details. Dozens of Islamist fighters linked to al-Qaida have been killed as French and African forces have fought to drive them out of the northern region of Mali they have controlled since last April. France launched a ground and air operation in January to break the Islamist rebels' hold on the region, saying militants...
  • Former US Diplomat: Europeans, Canada paid $89 million ransom to Al Qaeda

    02/09/2013 9:26:59 PM PST · by LSUfan · 8 replies
    Shariah Finance Watch ^ | 9 Feb 13 | Unattributed
    A former U.S. ambassador to Mali has alleged that France paid a $17 million ransom to free hostages seized from a French mining site – cash she said ultimately funded the al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militants its troops are now fighting. French officials, whose soldiers are pushing north into the territory where the missing captives are believed to be held, denied paying any ransoms. Huddleston, who served as ambassador to Mali and held positions in the State Department and Defense Department in the U.S. before retiring, told France’s iTele network that the French money allowed al-Qaeda’s North Africa branch to flourish in...
  • Mali Rebels, Now Aiding French, Say They’re Holding Militants

    02/04/2013 8:25:49 PM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 7 replies
    The New York Times ^ | Published: February 4, 2013 | STEVEN ERLANGER
    PARIS — French warplanes bombed Islamist militant bases and depots deep into northern Mali to disrupt their supply routes, French officials said on Monday, as secular Tuareg rebels in northern Mali said they had captured two Islamist commanders near the Algerian border. The Tuaregs favor independence and had joined forces with better-armed Islamist fighters last year to take over much of Mali’s north. But the Tuaregs were soon edged out by their Islamist counterparts, who controlled the region’s major towns and imposed a harsh version of Islamic law, cutting off hands, stoning a couple to death and beating people in...
  • Inside Gao where Arab jihadis took bloody sharia retribution on Mali's black Africans

    02/02/2013 10:03:29 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    The Observer, Guardian UK ^ | Saturday 2 February 2013 | Lindsey Hilsum in Gao
    At least 12 men had hands or feet cut off after MUJAO (Movement for Jihad and Unity), and its allies in AQIM (al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb), took control of Gao last April. The exact number is not known because some were amputated in the military base... The mayor's office, a few yards from the punishment ground, was turned into a sharia court... Suspects were confined to a small room where they were tied up and beaten, before being brought before Islamic judges, known as marabous, who sat every Monday and Thursday. Ali Altini and Mohammed Aklini were due to...
  • Clinton heads overseas for talks on Mali, Balkans

    10/29/2012 3:48:54 AM PDT · by FryingPan101 · 19 replies
    AP ^ | October 29, 2012 | Bradley Klapper
    <p>WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is on a five-day trip overseas to increase pressure on Mali's al-Qaida-linked rebels and help Balkan nations end long-simmering ethnic and political disagreements.</p>
  • U.S. Weighs Base for Spy Drones in North Africa

    01/28/2013 9:08:37 PM PST · by Seizethecarp · 9 replies
    New York Times ^ | January 28, 2013 | ERIC SCHMITT
    The United States military is preparing to establish a drone base in northwest Africa so that it can increase surveillance missions on the local affiliate of Al Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups that American and other Western officials say pose a growing menace to the region. For now, officials say they envision flying only unarmed surveillance drones from the base, though they have not ruled out conducting missile strikes at some point if the threat worsens. If the base is approved, the most likely location for it would be in Niger, a largely desert nation on the eastern border...
  • U.S. to Expand Role in Africa

    01/29/2013 6:44:52 AM PST · by Pan_Yan · 33 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Updated January 29, 2013, 6:58 a.m. ET | ADAM ENTOUS and SIOBHAN GORMAN
    Military Pact With Niger Brings American Forces Closer to Conflict in Mali. The U.S. signed an agreement Monday with the West African country of Niger that clears the way for a stepped-up American military presence on the edges of the conflict in neighboring Mali. The U.S. and France are moving to create an intelligence hub in Niger that could include a base, near Mali's border, for American drones that could monitor al Qaeda-linked militants in Mali's vast desert north, U.S. officials said. The moves show the extent to which the U.S. and France are girding for what could be an...
  • Timbuktu mayor: Mali rebels torched library of ancient manuscripts

    01/28/2013 6:22:27 AM PST · by Pan_Yan · 35 replies
    Guardian ^ | , Monday 28 January 2013 08.37 EST | Luke Harding in Sévaré
    Islamist insurgents retreating from the ancient Saharan city of Timbuktu have set fire to a library containing thousands of priceless ancient manuscripts, some dating back to the 13th century, in what the town's mayor described as a "devastating blow" to world heritage. ... The manuscripts survived for centuries in Timbuktu on the edge of the Sahara hidden in wooden trunks, boxes beneath the sand and caves. The majority are written in Arabic, with some in African languages, and one in Hebrew, and cover a diverse range of topics including astronomy, poetry, music, medicine and women's rights. The oldest dated from...
  • French troops face complicated military landscape in Mali

    01/24/2013 5:36:49 PM PST · by MinorityRepublican · 12 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | January 24, 2013 | Sudarsan Raghavan and Edward Cody
    DIABALY, Mali — When France entered the world’s newest war against terrorism, French officials boldly declared that the ragtag radical Islamists they planned to oust from northern Mali would scatter in the face of a modern fighting force. But two weeks later, reality has sunk in. Even as they bombard Islamist targets, the French troops are facing a military landscape that is far more complicated than it appeared at the outset, raising questions about France’s long-term goals. With no clear exit strategy, the French are encountering a host of problems: Mali’s interim government is weak, its military is disorganized, and...
  • Mali Exposes Flaws in West's Security Plans

    01/23/2013 9:00:44 PM PST · by MinorityRepublican · 4 replies
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | January 23, 2013 | By ADAM ENTOUS and JULIAN E. BARNES in Washington and DREW HINSHAW in Bamako, Mali
    France's attack on Islamic extremists in Mali this month is exposing major strains in the Western world's security strategy. As the French assault gained steam in West Africa, France sought help from its allies—only to find that the U.S. and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization states either weren't ready or couldn't offer much. Canada and the U.K. quickly ponied up three cargo planes, two of which broke down en route. By far the biggest breakdown, however, played out between the U.S. and France, as Washington sent what Paris saw as mixed messages about U.S. levels of commitment to taking on...
  • Islamists Kill Nigerian Soldiers Heading to Mali

    01/23/2013 8:19:10 PM PST · by JerseyanExile
    All Africa ^ | January 21, 2013
    Two Nigerian soldiers were killed and five others seriously injured in a 19 January attack on a military detachment heading for deployment in Mali, as part of Nigeria's contribution to UN-sanctioned African intervention force to reclaim northern Mali from Islamists, military officials told IRIN. The soldiers from a military unit based in the southern Nigerian city of Ibadan, were on their way to the town of Kachia in northern Kaduna state to prepare for deployment to Mali, when they were attacked near the city of Okene in central Kogi state, Nigerian army spokesman Major General Bola Koleoso told IRIN. "We...
  • US begins transporting French troops to Mali

    01/22/2013 10:48:34 AM PST · by Pan_Yan · 28 replies
    AP via Charter ^ | Tuesday, January 22, 2013 12:59 PM EST | KRISTA LARSON and BABA AHMED Associated Press
    SEGOU, Mali (AP) — American planes transported French troops and equipment to Mali, a U.S. military spokesman said Tuesday, as Malian and French forces pushed into the Islamist-held north. Douentza had been held by Islamist rebels for four months, located 190 kilometers (120 miles) northeast of Mopti, the previous line-of-control held by the Malian military in Mali's narrow central belt. The Islamist fighters have controlled the vast desert stretches of northern Mali, with the weak government clinging to the south, since a military coup in the capital in March last year unleashed chaos. French and Malian troops arrived in Douentza...
  • Is Qatar fuelling the crisis in north Mali?

    01/22/2013 8:43:36 AM PST · by bayouranger · 4 replies
    France24.com ^ | 22JAN12 | By Mark Thompson (video) Ségolène ALLEMANDOU (text)
    Oil-rich gulf state Qatar has a vested interest in the outcome of the north Mali crisis, according to various reports that have been picked up by French MPs, amid suspicion that Doha may be siding with the rebels to extend its regional influence. Since Islamist groups exploited a military coup in the Malian capital of Bamako in early 2012 to take control of the entire north of the country, accusations of Qatari involvement in a crisis that has seen France deploy troops have been growing. Last week two French politicians explicitly accused Qatar of giving material support to separatists and...
  • Mali conflict: France aiming for 'total reconquest'

    01/20/2013 4:16:11 PM PST · by MinorityRepublican · 29 replies
    BBC News ^ | 20 January 2013
    There are now some 2,000 French troops in Mali France's military aim in Mali is its "total reconquest", French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has said. "We will not leave any pockets" of resistance, he told French television. France has sent in 2,000 troops to help Malian forces fight Islamist militants who now control the northern half of the country. Mr Le Drian said the former Islamist stronghold of Diabaly had not yet been retaken, even though the militants withdrew from the town two days ago. However, he added that "everything points to a favourable evolution of the situation in...
  • Mali takes key town as nations ready more troops

    01/20/2013 4:06:26 PM PST · by MinorityRepublican · 3 replies
    CNN ^ | Sun January 20, 2013 | Nima Elbagir
    Sevare, Mali (CNN) -- The Malian military has gained control of the central town of Diabaly, Mali, a key advance in the battle against Islamist militants in the north. The country's forces retook the town without ground assistance from French troops, a military spokesman said. The French military confirmed that it provided only air support. French officials later said Malian forces had managed to push the Islamists into the forest beyond Diabaly. But battles in the region continued to rage. Rebel control over Diabaly was one of the chief concerns to Mali and France in trying to stop the Islamists'...
  • French troops advance in Mali as Islamists melt away

    01/20/2013 2:37:26 PM PST · by mdittmar · 16 replies
    Reuters ^ | Jan 20, 2013 | Bate Felix
    (Reuters) - French troops advanced cautiously toward northern Mali on Sunday amid fears of ambush by al Qaeda-linked fighters, while its fighter jets pounded the Islamists' strongholds in the desert near Timbuktu. In the central Malian town of Diabaly, seized by Islamist fighters on Monday, the wreckage of the Islamists' charred pick-up trucks lay abandoned among the mud-brick buildings, television images showed.Residents of the town, some 350 km (220 miles) from the capital Bamako, said Islamists had fled into the bush after French airstrikes.The commanders of French and Malian forces, who set up their operations center in the nearby town...
  • Algerian assault ends crisis, 19 hostages dead

    01/19/2013 8:14:43 AM PST · by gotribe · 25 replies
    AP ^ | 1/19/2013 | PAUL SCHEMM and ANIS BELGHOUL
    Algeria's special forces stormed a natural gas complex in the middle of the Sahara desert on Saturday in a "final assault" aimed at ending a four-day-old hostage crisis, the state news agency reported. It said 11 militants and seven hostages were killed. The report, quoting a security source, didn't say whether any hostages or militants remained alive, and it didn't give the nationalities of the dead. It said the army was forced to intervene after a fire broke out in the plant.
  • Algeria in Jihadi Flames

    01/18/2013 11:03:43 AM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 11 replies
    FrontPageMag.Com ^ | January 18, 2013 | Matthew Vadum
    Emboldened by America’s projection of weakness abroad, Islamists apparently linked to al-Qaeda reportedly continue to hold about 40 foreign hostages including seven Americans seized Wednesday at a natural gas field in Algeria.At press time, conflicting media reports had been emerging from the region. Some claimed that the hostages have been freed; others, that several hostages have been killed. The mass kidnapping at a BP (formerly British Petroleum) gas site near the Libyan border, which may very well have been accomplished with U.S.-supplied weapons left over from the ouster of the late Muammar Qaddafi in Libya, seems to be a...
  • U.S. vows to pursue militants behind Algeria attack

    01/18/2013 7:20:03 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 33 replies
    Reuters ^ | Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:07am EST | (Reporting by David Alexander, writing by Mohammed Abbas; Editing by Jon Boyle)
    U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Friday militants who attacked the United States and its citizens will hunted down, in the first comments by a senior U.S. official on a hostage attack by Islamist militants in Algeria. … “Terrorists should be on notice that they will find no sanctuary, no refuge, not in Algeria, not in North Africa, not anywhere. Those who would wantonly attack our country and our people will have no place to hide,” he said. …
  • Malian and French forces retakes key town from rebels

    01/18/2013 9:26:09 AM PST · by JerseyanExile · 3 replies
    Al Jazeera ^ | January 18, 2012
    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 Jazeera’s 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...
  • Obama the Party Animal

    01/16/2013 4:37:09 PM PST · by kristinn · 7 replies
    ABC News ^ | Wednesday, January 16, 2013 | Mary K. Bruce
    President Obama pushed back against criticism earlier this week that he is too insular and not social enough in Washington. He said simply, “I like a good party.” Today, he reinforced the message. Leaving a farewell reception at the Treasury Department for Secretary Timothy Geithner, Obama was asked “So, you like a good party?” “They didn’t serve any alcohol,” Obama responded with a big grin, as he appeared to munch on something.
  • American still missing after Algeria raids gas plant to rescue hostages from terrorists

    01/17/2013 8:12:56 PM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 9 replies
    Foxnews ^ | January 17, 2013
    An American from Texas remains missing after an Algerian military raid on an Al Qaeda-linked group reportedly ended a hostage standoff at a remote gas plant in the Saharan Desert. Two Americans escaped unharmed Thursday from the hostage standoff, a senior U.S. defense officials told Fox News, and five other Americans who had been at the vast Ain Amenas complex were able to avoid being taken captive when the terrorists first attacked early Wednesday. The Associated Press reports at least six people, and perhaps many more, were killed -- Britons, Filipinos and Algerians -- in the Algerians special forces' rescue...
  • Thirty hostages reported killed in Algeria assault (12 minutes ago)

    01/17/2013 2:40:39 PM PST · by Brad from Tennessee · 36 replies
    Reuters ^ | January 17, 2013 | By Lamine Chikhi
    (Reuters) - Thirty hostages and at least 11 Islamist militants were killed on Thursday when Algerian forces stormed a desert gas plant in a bid to free many dozens of Western and local captives, an Algerian security source said. Two Japanese, two Britons and a French national were among at least seven foreigners killed, the source told Reuters. Eight of the dead hostages were Algerian. The nationalities of the rest, as well as of perhaps dozens more who escaped, were unclear. Americans, Norwegians, Romanians and an Austrian have also been mentioned by their governments as having been captured. Underlining the...
  • Algeria reportedly completes hostages rescue, after 2 Americans escape

    01/17/2013 2:42:02 PM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 12 replies
    Foxnews ^ | January 17, 2013
    Two Americans escaped unharmed Thursday from a hostage standoff with an Al Qaeda-linked group as Algeria's state news agency reports special forces have completed a rescue operation to free the remaining foreign hostages, but casualties have been reported. Algerian state television said that four captives, two Britons and two Filipinos have died. But the militants said at least 35 hostages had died in the state's rescue attempt. There was no way to independently verify the toll in the remote location, 800 miles from Algiers. The two Americans who managed to escape the Ain Amenas gas plant where they were being...
  • Some Hostages Killed, but Raid Rescues Many, Algeria Says

    01/17/2013 12:50:39 PM PST · by Brad from Tennessee · 7 replies
    New York Times ^ | January 17, 2013 | By ADAM NOSSITER, ALAN COWELL and SCOTT SAYARE
    BAMAKO, Mali — Kidnappers and at least some of their hostages were killed on Thursday as Algerian forces raided a gas facility where a heavily armed group of Islamist extremists was holding dozens of captives, including Americans and other foreigners, the Algerian government announced. In a statement on national radio, the communications minister, Mohand Saïd Oublaïd, said that many of the hostages had been freed, but he warned that the military assault was not yet complete and that some captives remained trapped inside the remote facility in the Algerian desert. “The operation resulted in the neutralization of a large number...
  • BBC Live: Algeria hostage siege

    01/17/2013 9:59:54 AM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 38 replies
    BBC ^ | Jan 2013 | Staff
    Latest news at the top of the article.....From the Begginnin.....i.e.....the bottom.***********************************EXCERPT********************************************1353: The hostages were seized on Wednesday morning after heavily armed militants attacked a bus leaving the plant but were repelled by their police escort.    1350: Welcome to our live coverage of the Algerian hostage siege. We will bring you updates as the situation develops with expert analysis from BBC correspondents and comment from readers.
  • Fears for hostages as Algeria attacks gas complex – live updates (5 Americans dead?)

    01/17/2013 9:32:16 AM PST · by jimbo123 · 13 replies
    Guardian ^ | 1/17/13 | Guardian
    Foreign nationals from eight countries were taken hostage at the Amenas plant. The Associated Press rounds up what we know about the hostages so far: -snip- • United States: Seven Americans were hostages, the militants said, but they claimed only two survived the Algerian strafing on Thursday. The US has confirmed that some of its citizens are hostages but gave no numbers.
  • 'Thirty-five hostages killed in Algerian helicopter attack on BP gas plant siege': Two Brits feared

    01/17/2013 9:18:16 AM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 33 replies
    Daily Mail (UK) ^ | Thursday, Jan 17 2013 3PM | Simon Tomlinson and Nabila Ramdani And Peter Allen
    'Thirty-five hostages killed in Algerian helicopter attack on BP gas plant siege': Two Brits feared dead, but some captives including Americans and Irish have escaped Helicopters 'began strafing' complex, also killing 15 militants, claim rebelsMilitants had earlier threatened to blow up the hostages if they intervened Al-Qaeda group also demand safe passage out of facility with the hostagesTwo British nationals and Algerian are believed to have been killed in siegeBritain will allow Algeria to 'take the lead', but will consider request for helpPM Cameron: 'Extent of attack suggests considerable degree of planning'Attack was planned by 'one-eyed Islamist known as...
  • Hostages escape Sahara siege - report Live (Algeria: Dozens reported killed in raid)

    01/17/2013 5:28:09 AM PST · by kristinn · 51 replies
    Reuters ^ | Thursday, January 17, 2013 | Andrew Binet
    BREAKING: 34 HOSTAGES AND 15 KIDNAPPERS KILLED BY AIR STRIKES BY ALGERIAN ARMY - ANI NEWS AGENCY SNIP (Previous) UPDATE - Twenty-five hostages escape Algeria siege - source ALGIERS - Twenty-five foreign hostages, including two Japanese, escaped from the siege of a gas plant deep in the Algerian desert on Thursday, an Algerian security source said.
  • Obama, Clinton Silent on Hostage Crisis

    01/17/2013 8:59:06 AM PST · by yoe · 18 replies
    The Weekly Standard ^ | January 17, 2013 | Daniel harper
    At least two American hostages are being held hostage at a gas plant in Algeria, but there's been no word on unfolding the situation from either President Barack Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In fact, the only official word to come from the Obama administration is confirmation from the State Department that indeed Americans are being held hostage there. "[W]e condemn in strongest terms the terrorist attack on British Petroleum personnel and facilities at In Amenas, Algeria earlier today. We are obviously closely monitoring the situation. We’re in contact with Algerian authorities and our diplomatic counterparts in Algiers,...
  • Amenas Hostage Crisis: Oil Workers 'Killed' in Algeria Air Strikes

    01/17/2013 8:18:38 AM PST · by thackney · 3 replies
    Rig Zone ^ | January 17, 2013 | Jon Mainwaring
    Newswires reported lunchtime Thursday (UK time) that a spokesman claimed 34 hostages and 14 kidnappers have been killed in air strikes against the Amenas gas facility in southern Algeria. Islamist militants attacked the facility early Wednesday morning, taking dozens of hostages. Statoil and BP, who operate a joint venture at Amenas, confirmed Wednesday and Thursday that they have several workers at the facility. According to the AFP a spokesman for the kidnappers, speaking through a Mauritanian newswire, Algerian military aircraft attacked the facility in what appears to have been an attempt to free the hostages. The spokesman warned that the...
  • Militants demand safe passage to Libya after seizing Westerners in Algeria (Obama debacle)

    01/17/2013 6:07:33 AM PST · by jimbo123 · 7 replies
    CNN ^ | 1/17/13 | Said Chitour and Faith Karimi
    Algiers, Algeria (CNN) -- Islamist militants who seized Westerners at an Algerian gas plant are demanding safe passage to nearby Libya, authorities said, as fallout from the French offensive in Mali reverberates globally.
  • Report: 34 hostages and 15 kidnappers killed (Algerian airstrike)

    01/17/2013 6:38:18 AM PST · by Libloather · 17 replies
    MSN ^ | 1/17/13
    NOUAKCHOTT — Thirty-four hostages and 15 of their al-Qaida-linked kidnappers were killed Thursday in an air strike by the Algerian armed forces, Mauritania's ANI news agency reported, citing one of the kidnappers holding captives at a desert gas field. It was not immediately possible to independently verify the information from the agency, which has close contact with the group that has claimed responsibility for the mass kidnapping, reportedly in retaliation for France's military intervention in neighboring Mali. ANI reported that the spokesman for the kidnappers said they would kill the rest of their captives if the army approached. A local...
  • Obama, Clinton Silent on Hostage Crisis (If they sacrificed a US Ambassador to Al Qaeda in Libya...)

    01/17/2013 7:52:41 AM PST · by jimbo123 · 24 replies
    Weekly Standard ^ | 1/17/13 | DANIEL HALPER
    At least two American hostages are being held hostage at a gas plant in Algeria, but there's been no word on unfolding the situation from either President Barack Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
  • Sahara Islamists take hostages, spreading Mali war

    01/16/2013 3:52:21 PM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 9 replies
    Reuters ^ | Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:24pm EST | By Lamine Chikhi and Bate Felix ALGIERS/BAMAKO
    (Reuters) - Islamist fighters seized dozens of Western and Algerian hostages in a dawn raid on a natural gas facility deep in the Sahara on Wednesday and demanded France halt a new offensive against rebels in neighboring Mali. Three people, among them one British and one French, were reported killed, but details were sketchy and numbers of those held at Tigantourine ranged from 41 foreigners - including perhaps seven Americans as well as Japanese and Europeans - to over 100 local staff, held separately and less closely watched.   What is clear is that with a dramatic counterpunch to this...
  • US Confirms Americans Taken After Algeria Attack (SecDef Panetta: "Terrorist Attack"

    01/16/2013 10:47:03 AM PST · by kristinn · 66 replies
    AP via U.S. News ^ | Wednesday, January 16, 2013 | Bradley Klapper
    The Obama administration is condemning an Islamist attack on a natural gas field in southern Algeria and confirming that Americans are among those being held hostage. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters in Italy that Americans were among the hostages and called the incident a "terrorist attack."
  • French ground troops engage rebels in central Mali

    01/16/2013 7:45:28 AM PST · by Freeport · 30 replies
    France 24 ^ | 16/01/2013 | Joseph Bamat
    French soldiers began direct combat with Mali-based Islamists in the central town of Diabaly on Wednesday, according to security sources, while President François Hollande said the war effort was “necessary and legitimate” in a speech in Paris. French special forces began fighting on the ground with Islamist rebels in central Mali on Wednesday, according to regional security sources, six days after the European power launched an air offensive in the country. “The special forces are currently in Diabaly, engaged in fighting with the Islamists. The Malian army is also on site,” the AFP news agency quoted a Malian security source...