French armed forces have secured the town of Kidal last rebel stronghold in Mali 3101131

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French Armed Forces Operation Serval in Mali

 
 
Thursday, January 31, 2013, 06:07 AM
 
French armed forces have secured the town of Kidal last rebel stronghold in Mali.
During the night from 29 to 30 January 2013, French troops have taken control of the airport in the northern Malian town of Kidal, the last rebel stronghold in the north, according to the French army and a local official. Colonel Thierry Burkhard, the French armed forces spokesman, confirmed on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, that French troops were in Kidal and had taken control of the airport.
     
During the night from 29 to 30 January 2013, French troops have taken control of the airport in the northern Malian town of Kidal, the last rebel stronghold in the north, according to the French army and a local official. Colonel Thierry Burkhard, the French armed forces spokesman, confirmed on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, that French troops were in Kidal and had taken control of the airport.
French soldiers on armoured vehicle personnel carrier VAB on the way for Timbuktu.
     

Wednesday's capture of Kidal came just days after French and Malian forces retook two other provincial capitals, Gao and Timbuktu, earlier this week in a campaign to drive al-Qaeda-linked fighters from Mali's north.

Haminy Belco Maiga, president of the regional assembly of Kidal, said French troops had met no resistance.

"The French arrived at 9:30pm aboard four planes, which landed one after another. Afterwards they took the airport and then entered the town, and there was no combat," said Maiga, who had been in touch with people in the town by satellite phone as all the normal phone networks were down.

"The French are patrolling the town and two helicopters are patrolling overhead," he added.

A group of Chadian soldiers left their temporary base in Niamey on Wednesday, as their convoy rolled through the town of Gorou, Niger and towards the country's northern border to enter Mali.

In Timbuktu, the soldiers of the 17e RGP (17th Engineer Parachute Regiment) began the repairs of the airport runway. Malian armed forces are continuing their patrols around the city supported by French forces.

In Gao, the control of the area is increased with the the strengthening of positions at the entrances to the city and Malian army patrols in the city.

     

In Timbuktu, the soldiers of the 17e RGP (17th Engineer Parachute Regiment) began the repairs of the airport runway.

     
Flight operations of the French Air Force continue with 15 missions for Wednesday, including a dozen air strikes on the north of Kidal.

On the south, French army increased its military power with logistical support. Currently, French army have 3,500 soldiers in Mali.

Finally, the Chadian armed forces continue their offensive with reconnaissance on the north to make the junction with the French troops in Kidal.

African contingents of MISMA continue its deployment in the country. The first togolese units were been deployed in San and Mopti, and soldiers from Burkina Faso protect a bridge in Markala.
     

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