REBELS ABANDON CITY,
HEAD FOR THE CAVES:
The French army took position on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday on the airport of Kidal, the third largest city in northern Mali, after taking over in 48 hours Islamists, with the army in Mali, Gao and Timbuktu,
TRANSLATION002: DRAMA AT A MINIMUM--
French soldiers landed last night around 20:30 (local time) on airport Kidal. Several helicopters and widebody arose in the dark, the electric current is cut at this point in the city. Residents living close to the track heard repeatedly whirring sound of aircraft engines.
TRANSLATION003: PEACEFUL SOLUTION
"A French plane` s sitting on the runway of the airport `Kidal. They
taken a position on the `airfield," said an official of the Administration
local, whose testimony was confirmed by the Tuareg notable
region and a source of regional security.
The arrival of French troops in Kidal comes after the reconquest, the
side of the army in Mali and without resistance, the two largest
towns in northern Mali, Gao and Timbuktu,
Kidal, 1,500 km from Bamako, and the region in the `extreme north-east Mali
near the Algerian border, was the stronghold of Ansar Dine `(Defenders
Islam `s), headed by Iyad Ag Ghaly (former Tuareg rebel), an Islamist group
armed allied with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
A splinter group of Ansar Dine `Islamic Movement` s Azawad (MIA)
said recently held with Kidal Tuareg rebels of the Movement
national liberation `s Azawad (MNLA). MIA assured reject
terrorism and advocate a "peaceful solution" to the crisis in the north of Mali.
"A French plane landed on the runway at Kidal aerodrome," said a senior local official, who also reported seeing helicopters.
"They have taken up position around the aerodrome," he added.
His account was confirmed by a regional security source.
"We confirm that French aircraft are on the Kidal landing strip and that protection helicopters are in the sky," said the source.
A senior Tuareg figure in Kidal also confirmed the report, as did a spokesman for the Islamic Movement of Azawad, which recently said it had taken control of Kidal.
"The French have in fact taken up positions" on the landing strip, said the spokesman. "Our leader is currently talking with them," he added.