Wednesday, March 27, 2013

FWD: #iyadagghali

Still in the Game

(Associated Press via ABC):

IFOGHAS--One of the three extremist groups being driven back in northern Mali by French-led forces says its fighters and leader, Iyad Ag Ghali, are fine and determined to keep attacking.
In its statement published this week on Mauritanian website Sahara Media, Ansar Dine said:

 "Even if only sticks remain with us, we will fight you with them."

For 10 months, Ansar Dine ruled a large swathe of northern Mali. In January, France launched a military intervention and removed the group from the main cities in the north, including Kidal, where Ag Ghali was based.

The French have since killed Abou Zeid, a major commander of the local al-Qaida affiliate, raising questions about the whereabouts of other leaders, including Ag Ghali.



KOULIKORO--Twenty-one members of 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment arrived in Bamako on Tuesday, and they will be joined later by members of the 45 Commando Royal Marines and 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery units.
"British support to the mission in Mali—including assistance with training, logistics and surveillance—highlights the impressive flexibility of our armed forces.
"British troops will not deploy in a combat role but, through training the Malian armed forces, we can assist in restoring order and denying terrorists a safe haven in the country."
The Bamako-headquartered mission is led by France's Brigadier General Francois Lecointre.
Expected to last around 15 months, the training will take place in Koulikoro, 60 kilometres (40 miles) northeast of the capital.