Magharebia (Washington DC)

3 February 2013

Mali: Hollande Visits Nation

France said it carried out major air strikes Sunday (February 3rd) near Kidal, the last bastion of armed extremists in northern Mali, AFP reported.

An army spokesman said 30 warplanes bombed training and logistics centres run by Islamist extremists overnight in the Tessalit area north of Kidal, where French troops took the airport Wednesday and have been working to secure the town itself.

Residents in the town near the Algerian border said French and Chadian troops patrolled the village for the first time Saturday.

Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande visited Timbuktu and Bamako on Friday, where he met with his Malian counterpart Dioncounda Traore.

"Terrorism has been pushed back, it has been chased away, but it has not been defeated yet," Hollande said.

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