Mali Soldiers Arrest 2 Men With Explosives
[ABCNEWS.GO] Two men with explosives were arrested trying to enter the city of Gao on Saturday, the Malian military said, a day after a suicide bomber blew himself up in an attack that has fueled fears of a militant insurgency in northern Mali.
I do hope nobody thought AQIM was just going to run away? Now comes the sneaky war of attrition, until they run out of cannon fodder or the funding's cut off.
Funding comes from Qatar and the UAE. Good luck with that one...
The two suspected jihadists were in Malian military custody after being arrested at 7 a.m. on a road that leads into northern Mali's largest city, said military spokesman Modibo Traore. "The men were stopped at a checkpoint on the road from Bourem," Traore said of a village that is northwest of Gao.
That's alright. There are more when they came from. Literally.
While Friday's attack killed only the bomber, it has raised concerns about the future strategy of the militants, who initially appeared to put up little resistance to the French and Malian military advance.
That's because they can't stand up to a real army. They're fond of waving guns and looking ferocious, but they seldom fire at actual soldiers, and when they do they usually come out second in the contest.
Malian defense minister Yamoussa Camara told The Associated Press Saturday that the military was continuing to hunt extremists from their hiding places. "We call on the population of Gao to not give in to panic and above all to cooperate with defense and security forces to drive out the terrorists who are trying to inflitrate among civilians," said Camara when reached by phone in Bamako.
The disadvantage the turbans have here is the number of foreigners among them, to include the Tuaregs, who'll be suspicious characters even though they live in the area. Appearance and accent will give the turbans away, and (at the moment) they don't enjoy a lot of support from the locals.
The young man who blew himself up on Friday had been living at a house in Gao that was known jihadist hideout. A guard at the home said that it had been visited three months ago by the one-eyed terror leader Moktar Belmoktar, who claimed responsibility for the attack in Algeria on the BP-operated natural gas plant in which more than 37 people died.
Presumably the dear departed had been living there until the Frenchies showed up, at which point he beat curly-toed slippers along with his Islamic masters.
Other jihadist leaders from the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa -- known as MUJAO -- also had stayed in the luxurious two-story home with a verdant courtyard, which the militants took over when they captured Gao last year, the guard said.
Any differences between MUJAO and AQIM have to do with labeling, not with flavor.
Fears of suicide bombing attacks have been high since the discovery of industrial-strength explosives in Gao earlier this week.
Count on it.
Mali's military has shown growing signs of strain.
Best to dissolve them and start over from scratch. They're not worth much, evidently.
The only ones who were any good were the ones trained by U.S. advisors, and they switched sides...
On Friday, soldiers from a unit allied with the leader of last year's military coup stormed the camp of the presidential guard. Two people were killed and 13 others were wounded, according to a statement from the Malian government.
That's because they had nothing better to do. It's not like they'd been invaded or something...
Malian President Dioncounda Traore called the violence a major disappointment to the Malian people "at a time when the main concern of each and every Malian should be the operations we are in the middle of carrying out in the north."
Oh. Well. The country was invaded, but not the Presidential Guard. Apparently "the Guard lives but never engages," to misquote some Frenchie.
The red beret-wearing former presidential guard, based at the Djicoroni camp in Bamako, was disarmed months ago by the green beret-wearing officers loyal to Capt. Amadou Haya Sanogo, the leader of the coup in March last year. Their camp has been attacked on several occasions by the green berets, who seized the presidential guards' weapons.
The guys with the red hats, y'see, marched ever so much better than the green hats in parades. And they got all the good hookers.
When the green berets arrived at the military camp Friday they were confronted by women and children, and fired tear gas and volleys into the air, according to Batoma Dicko, a woman who lives in the camp. The camp includes housing for military families. The attackers succeeded in entering the camp, carried out a search and set fire to the infirmaries, she said.
That sort of thing is ever so much easier when the wimmin and kiddies are unarmed.
Posted by: Fred