Skip to comments.French, Malians secure Timbuktu in rebel-held north
Posted on 01/27/2013 9:26:02 AM PST by procrustes
BAMAKO/SEVARE, Mali (Reuters) - French and Malian troops were on Sunday restoring government control over the fabled Saharan trading town of Timbuktu, the latest gain in a fast-moving French-led offensive against al Qaeda-allied fighters occupying northern Mali.
The Islamist militant rebels have pulled back northwards to avoid relentless French air strikes that have destroyed their bases, vehicles and weapons, allowing French and Malian troops to advance rapidly with air support and armored vehicles.
A Malian military source told Reuters the French and Malian forces reached "the gates of Timbuktu" late on Saturday without meeting resistance from the Islamist insurgents who had held the town since last year.
The advancing troops were working on securing the town, a UNESCO World Heritage site and labyrinth of ancient mosques and monuments and mud-brick homes, ready to flush out any Islamist fighters who might still be hiding among the population......
The robust military action by France over the past two weeks in its former Sahel colony has left African leaders embarrassed about the continent's inability to quickly field its own force to restore the territorial integrity of an African state.
At an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, outgoing AU chairman Thomas Boni Yayi, president of Benin, criticized Africa's slow response to the Isla mist insurgency in Mali, and welcomed international support for the French-led operation.
"How could it be that when faced with a danger that threatens its very foundations, Africa, although it had the means to defend itself, continued to wait," Yayi told African leaders on Sunday after handing over the AU chair to Ethiopia....
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I really surprised that a few of the millions of Molstems in France, particularly in the cities, haven’t gone postal. During the riots a few years ago, yutes were stuffing cloth down automobile gas tanks and lighting them up.
Oh, they love France now when there’s fighting and killing going on. Wait until it slows down.
Gee, I wonder if France is employing the do-not-fire-unless-fired-upon rule imposed by the bonehead US military.