MNLA IRREGULARS MAKE GROUND CONTACT:
2:47 p.m.: The leaders of Islamist groups targeted by the strikes - Tessalit area, 200 km north of Kidal, near Algeria, was attacked in the night from Saturday to Sunday "significant airstrikes" according to the spokesman of the General Staff of the French Army, Colonel Thierry Burkhard. He said that the bombings were to "logistical depots and training centers" armed Islamist groups linked to al-Qaeda, a little more than three weeks after the start of the French military intervention.
It is also in this vast area of mountains and caves around Kidal, according to experts and sources of security in the region, much of the leaders and fighters of the Islamist groups have sought refuge. Among them find the Algerian Abou Zeid, one of the most radical emirs of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Iyad Ag Ghaly, leader of Ansar Dine (Defenders of Islam), an ex-rebel Malian Tuareg 1990s, from who knows the Kidal region.
Tuareg rebels of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) have also said Friday they had a "hook" with a unit of Islamists in the region of Tessalit, which concluded with "arrest several jihadists. " New French reinforcements arrived Saturday in Kidal by air, according to residents. And Chadian soldiers (non-member country of West Africa) began to deploy in the city. According to several testimonies of people, Chadian and French troops patrolled for the first time Saturday in the streets of Kidal. Chadians have even been seen on the market of the city, doing errands. The Chadian contingent in Kidal would be about 150 soldiers, witnesses said.
NORTHERN FRONT - Major French airstrikes were carried out in the night from Saturday to Sunday in northern Mali, in areas near the border with Algeria, ..
These bombings north of Kidal Region and Tessalit town 70 km from Algeria, aimed deposits logistics and training centers of armed Islamist groups, said the spokesman of the Staff French armies, Colonel Thierry Burkhard.
Thirty units were involved: fighter-bombers, tankers, reconnaissance, it was pointed out the same source.