Malian military says its forces are in control of Timbuktu after French-led operation - InfoNews

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Malian military says its forces are in control of Timbuktu after French-led operation

Malian soldiers are stationed at the entrance of of Gao, Northern Mali, Monday Jan. 28, 2013. French and Malian troops held a strategic bridge and the airport in the northern town of Gao on Sunday as their force also pressed toward Timbuktu, another stronghold of Islamic extremists in northern Mali, officials said. The sign , a reminder of Islamic extremists, reads " Al Hesbah, together for the pleasure of God almighty and the struggle against sins."(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
January 29, 2013 - 12:49 AM

SEVARE, Mali - A Malian military spokesman says that soldiers are now in control of Timbuktu a day after the French-led operation to retake the fabled city from grip of Islamist extremists linked to al-Qaida.

Modibo Traore told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the Malian forces have maintained their hold on the town after entering it late Monday.

Timbuktu is one of three provincial capitals across northern Mali that had been ruled by the Islamist rebels since last April. The French and Malian forces retook Gao over the weekend, and have not yet advanced on Kidal.

The French military operation began more than two weeks ago and has so far met little resistance though experts warn it will be harder to hold on to the towns than it was to recapture them.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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