Ennis Daily News

French to triple troops in Mali


BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — France is tripling the number of troops deployed to Mali to 2,500, part of the massive preparation for a land assault to dislodge the Islamist extremists occupying the West African country’s north.

The increased total of French troops was confirmed in Paris Tuesday by a French Ministry of Defense official, who refused to give his name because he was not authorized to speak.

Despite a punishing, five-day campaign of aerial bombardments, the al-Qaida-linked rebels have continued to advance south, seizing a strategic military camp in central Mali, and embedding themselves in villages of thatched roofs, making it impossible to bomb without killing civilians.

The number of French soldiers in Mali is rapidly increasing from the Tuesday morning count of 800, including elite special forces. Every few hours, enormous transport planes are landing at Bamako’s airport, loaded with supplies and more soldiers.

Overnight, a regiment of 150 French soldiers drove overland from neighboring Ivory Coast, bringing in a convoy of 40 armored vehicles, including the ERC-90, a tank-like car, mounted with a 90 mm cannon.

Several thousand soldiers from the nations neighboring Mali are also expected to begin arriving soon, and Nigeria said nearly 200 would be coming in the next 24 hours.

Post to Twitter

Comments

comments

Posted by on Jan 15 2013. Filed under Off-the-wire, World news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed

Featured Links

    Search Archive

    Search by Date
    Search by Category
    Search with Google
    Log in

     

    Copyright: All rights reserved. Users may download and print extracts of content from this website for their own personal and non-commercial use only. Republication or redistribution of Ennis Daily News content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Ennis Daily News. Ennis Daily News and its logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Ellis County Newspapers, Inc.

    © Ellis County Newspapers, Inc. 2014