Clashes in northern Mali kill 50 fighters: Malian military source
Iran Press TV
Mon Mar 4, 2013 2:44AM GMT
At least 50 local fighters have been killed in heavy fighting in northern Mali as the French-led war in the African country goes on.
An unnamed Malian military source said that the fighters had been killed in clashes since Friday, adding the fighting continued on Sunday near the northern town of Gao.
On Saturday, a French soldier was killed in northern Mali, bringing the death toll of French troops in the African state to three.
According to a statement released by France’s Defense Ministry, 26-year-old Corporal Cedric Charenton died in the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains near Algeria.
France launched a war on Mali on January 11 under the pretext of halting the advance of fighters who had taken control of the north of the African nation. The United States, Canada, Britain, Belgium, Germany, and Denmark have voiced support for the move.
On January 12, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement that a French Air Force pilot had been killed in a helicopter attack one day earlier near the central town of Konna.
On February 19, a French soldier, identified as Staff Sergeant Harold Vormezeele, was also killed following clashes with fighters in the country.
The French-led war in Mali has caused a serious humanitarian crisis in northern areas of the country and has displaced thousands of people, who now live in deplorable conditions.
Some political analysts believe that Mali’s abundant natural resources, including gold and uranium reserves, could be one of the reasons behind the French war against the African country.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|