Magharebia (Washington DC)

24 February 2013

Mali Fight in 'Final Stages', France Says

Photo: Ministère de la Défense Française
A French military operation in Mali.

At least 65 Islamist fighters died Friday (February 22nd) during clashes with African troops in Mali's Adrar des Ifoghas mountains, near the border with Algeria, Al Jazeera reported. Thirteen Chadian soldiers were also killed in the battle.

On Saturday, French President Francois Hollande said that the "final phase" of the fight against al-Qaeda-linked militants in northern Mali was under way, AFP reported.

In related news Saturday, hundreds of Malians streamed to the Gao city hall - the scene of an epic battle this week - to see the corpses of their former tormentors.

Mobile phones in hand, they wanted to record the defeat of the militants who rigged themselves with explosives and holed up in the town hall. The extremists died in a hail of Malian army gunfire last week.

"We want to see them, we want to see them dead," said one resident.

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