French Warplanes Pound Mali City of Gao

Ansar Dine Leader Reported Slain in Attacks

by Jason Ditz, January 13, 2013

French warplanes continue to pound central Mali today, with the focus on the city of Gao. Several targets, including a former military base, have been destroyed and Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian promised to continue attacks on the city into tomorrow.

French officials insist that the war has “stopped the terrorists” and that it will continue for “as long as necessary” with the goal of reoccupying the northern two-thirds of the nation on behalf of the southern junta. They also report Algeria has given French warplanes unlimited access to their airspace for continued attacks.

Massive death tolls have been reported in the first two days of the French war in Mali, but so far the only named victim is a man named Abdel Krim, who officials say was a “lieutenant” in Ansar Dine, one of the rebel movements resisting the French invasion.

At France’s behest, the UN Security Council will hold an “emergency” meeting on the Mali war tomorrow, with an eye toward further international endorsements of the war.

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