Forces enter Diabaly

Forces enter Diabaly

French and Malian troops on Monday  entered the central frontline town of Diabaly as they pushed north in their bid to flush out radical Al Qaeda-linked rebels who have threatened reprisal attacks.

Paris said the aim of the 11-day-old military offensive is the “total reconquest” of Mali, whose north was seized 10 months ago by Islamist hardliners. The French onslaught, backed by embattled Malian troops, forged ahead despite threats of further retaliation from jihadists.

A convoy of about 30 armored vehicles transporting some 300 Malian and French troops moved into the key frontline town of Diabaly, 400 kilometres north of Bamako, early  on Monday .

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