Malian and French troops take position in the towns of Niono and Sevare and secure Markala 2001133

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French Armed Forces Operation Serval in Mali

 
 
Sunday, January 20, 2013, 07:19 PM
 
Malian and French troops take position in the towns of Niono - Sevare and secure Markala.
French air forces have carried out three attacks on rebel positions and French forces are advancing towards Mali's Islamist-held north after taking up positions in the towns of Niono and Sevare, a spokesman for the French military operation Serval said Sunday, January 20, 2013.
     
French air forces have carried out three attacks on rebel positions and French forces are advancing towards Mali's Islamist-held north after taking up positions in the towns of Niono and Sevare, a spokesman for the French military operation Serval said Sunday, January 20, 2013.
A French soldier with armoured vehicle outside the city of Markala, January 19, 2013
     

The progress towards the rebel strongholds on Sunday came amid reports that the al-Qaeda-linked fighters were abandoning some of their positions and converging on the mountainous region of Kidal, their northernmost bastion, 1,500 km from Bamako and near the border with Algeria.

The French troops continue deployment in the North, with troops inside the cities of Niono and Sevare.

Niono is about 350 km northeast of the Malian capital and 60km south of Diabaly, which was seized nearly a week ago by rebels and then heavily bombed by French fighter jets.

Sevare has a strategically important airport which could help serve as a base for operations further north. It is about 630km Northeast of Bamako.

The French army says it has secured Markala in Mali. The town is located between the area controlled by Islamist insurgents to the north and the country’s capital Bamako to the south.

     
The French troops continue deployement in the North, with troops inside the cities of Niono and Sevare.
 

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