French and Malian forces pushed into the north of Mali in a bid to drive Islamists back. There were heavy skirmishes in Gao, a French hub for operations. Foreign hostages are also thought to be held there. A car bomb also went off in Kidal, reportedly killing two.
Malian troops used heavy machine-guns to root out rebels with links to al Qaeda as the fighting spilled out into the sandy streets.
Gao lies in the desert north of the country, where Islamists infiltrated, according to the town’s mayor. Explosions and gunfire rocked the town Wednesday night. The mayor’s office came under attack and a petrol station was set alight.
A Malian Army Commander told euronews: “We’re dealing with an infiltration from last night, just before the power was cut some elements infiltrated the town and they are trying to take this,” as he pointed out a building, “As well as other assets in the neighbourhood.”
Paris is keen to avoid a long term guerrilla conflict in Mali and plans to start a withdrawal of around 4000 troops from next month. But these sustained skirmishes come at a time when Mali’s army remains weak and divided. It means Malian and African forces need their French allies now more than ever.
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Russia unveils ‘straight’ flag, internet responds
- 3Seven reasons why Yanis Varoufakis is now a political legend
- 4Greek crisis: ‘Agreement reached’ after marathon talks
- 5International news | euronews, latest international news
- 6Nasa announces the discovery of an earth-like planet
- 7French actor Gérard Depardieu ‘a threat to Ukraine national security’
- 8Is Saudi Arabia outlawing rainbows for being gay?
- 9Pluto: New Horizons space probe provides closest-ever pictures
- 10Latest News Bulletin
- 11International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 12BREAKING: Formal nuclear deal reached with Iran, says diplomat
- 13Greece votes ‘No’ in overwhelming rejection of bailout proposals
- 14‘Imposed’ bailout deal must be implemented, says Greek PM
- 15At least 10 dead in explosion in Turkish town close to border with Syria
- 16Greece clinches deal with eurogroup after marathon talks
- 17Berlusconi linked with a shock return to government – in Russia!
- 18Israel angry as Iran and West talk up nuclear deal
- 19Varoufakis resigns after Greek referendum
- 20European Union News | euronews: latest breaking news and headlines about European Union
Wires > News
- 13:04 CET U.N. peacekeeper killed in clashes in Central African Republic -…
- 12:53 CET United States, Egypt begin first strategic dialogue since 2009
- 12:44 CET Gunmen in uniforms kill ally of Burundi’s President Nkurunziza
- 11:46 CET Malaysia says Indian Ocean aeroplane debris is part of a Boeing 777
- 10:41 CET Grassroots mayors embody Spain’s divisions as election nears
- 10:11 CET Analysis – Germans fret over Europe’s future but still believe
- 09:56 CET Chinese military paper warns a corrupt army does not win wars
- 06:07 CET Five found shot to death in Mexico City apartment