France joins fight against Mali Islamists
[France24] French troops are backing the Malian army's counter-offensive against beturbanned fascisti who control the country's north, President François Hollande confirmed on Friday.
"French army forces supported Malian units this afternoon to fight against terrorist elements,'' Hollande said from the Elysée presidential palace, adding that the French operation would last "as long as necessary" and was aimed at protecting the citizens of Mali as well as the 6,000 Frenchies thought to be in the country.
The Malian army had earlier announced the counter-offensive, which it said would begin in Sévaré and advance to the key central town of Konna. "Our offensive has started," a Malian official said, on condition of anonymity. "The objective is to retake total control of the town of Konna and to proceed from there," he said, adding that "military planes from friendly countries" were being used in the attack. Troops from Nigeria and Senegal
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