French and Malian soldiers have recaptured the northern town of Hombori 2501133

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French Armed Forces Operation Serval in Mali

 
 
Friday, January 25, 2013, 02:25 PM
 
French and Malian soldiers have recaptured the northern town of Hombori.
French-led Malian soldiers have recaptured the northern town of Hombori which leads to the Islamist stronghold of Gao, residents and security sources said on Friday, January 25, 2013. "At present, Malian and French soldiers are in Hombori. There are no longer any Islamists on the ground," a local teacher said. A Malian security source said the forces were proceeding towards Gao.
     
French-led Malian soldiers have recaptured the northern town of Hombori which leads to the Islamist stronghold of Gao, residents and security sources said on Friday, January 25, 2013. "At present, Malian and French soldiers are in Hombori. There are no longer any Islamists on the ground," a local teacher said. A Malian security source said the forces were proceeding towards Gao.
French forces with the 21e Marine Infantry Regiment and the 1° Foreign Legion Cavalry Regiment continued their advance towards the North of Mali.
     

"The Malians and the French are now in charge of security in Hombori," another resident said. "We are really at peace now."

Hombori is located 150 kilometers beyond the current line of control in Douentza, which came back under government forces earlier in the week. The eastward push puts them just 250 kilometers away from Gao, one of the three main northern cities held by Islamists since last April when the rebels took advantage of the chaotic aftermath of a coup in Mali's capital.

A resident of Hombori said, "They were in eight all-terrain vehicles and two armored vehicles". The Islamists left from the town.

The Islamists have retreated from several cities in central Mali following a barrage of French air strikes, but the extremists still control the north including Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu.

French forces with the 21e Marine Infantry Regiment and the 1° Foreign Legion Cavalry Regiment continued their advance towards the North of Mali.

MUJAO had enforced an extreme form of Islamic law and the city of Gao, one of the three main cities in northern Mali, with Kidal and Timbuktu, has seen some of the worst punishments meted out in the name of sharia.

     
 

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