By Vicky Buffery plus John Irish
PARIS/DAKAR Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:24pm EST
PARIS/DAKAR (Reuters) - A French soldier and more as compared to 20 Islamist rebels were put to sleep during just what been seen in for being the 1st clashes in the Adrar des Ifoghas hill selection exactly where militants have considered refuge throughout northern Mali, French authorities said on Tuesday.
Speaking with a visit in order to Athens, French President Francois Hollande said really serious preventing experienced damaged out and about along with was continuing within the rural location this straddles this Mali-Algeria border, contributing to a few casualties one of many rebels and one French legionnaire.
"At this specific moment you'll find exceptional energies which might be with a tremendously precarious zoom in the Ifoghas," Hollande said. "It's the place that the terrorist categories that we ended just before possess pulled back to."
The jewellry will be subsequent French casualty considering Paris intervened inside Mali continue month as soon as Islamist rebels, after hijacking a rebellion simply by ethnic Tuareg MNLA separatists in order to seize control connected with that north while in the dilemma using a navy coup, pushed south to your investment Bamako.
Highlighting chance associated with violence upon French nationals and interests in Africa since the intervention with it is an old colony, your French household involving seven has been kidnapped around upper Cameroon on Tuesday by suspected Nigerian militants.
After driving the majority of the actual insurgents coming from upper neighborhoods such as Timbuktu and Gao, France have been concentrating its operations about Mali's remote pc help northeast mountains, where French specific allows and also Chadian soldiers are hunting rebel bases.
They trust your rebels are positioning a number of the tendencies French hostages, in the past seized inside region, with hideouts while in the Adrar des Ifoghas range.
"We are actually around one more point of the operation," Hollande said. "That indicates arresting the past market leaders of these groups which can be while in the extreme north connected with Mali."
The French defense ministry explained in which a new parachute regiment connected with one hundred fifty military recognized by means of a heavy vehicle patrol and Mirage fighter jets have come less than shoot on Tuesday morning.
The French raid was geared towards disrupting your militants plus dismantling their own camps, the ministry said.
"The French soldiers managed to find terrorist aspects for their hideout, to be able to fall in love with these and to be able to kill a lot more than 20 connected with them," it said.
ROCKET LAUNCHERS FOUND
French frontrunners have reported some people plan to start pulling out the 4,000 French soldiers throughout Mali in March for you to palm more than safety measures to the Malian affiliate marketing online along with towards the U.N.-backed AFISMA force, which will is anticipated to meet or exceed 8,000 soldiers which is drawn mainly out of Mali's West African neighbors.
French and Malian troops anchored the north Mali smaller population center connected with Bourem about Sunday, tightening their control above areas where Islamist insurgents are actually lifting guerrilla assaults that will frighten the actual French-led navy operation.
But expressing simply the way well-armed your insurgents are, the French defense ministry explained previously Tuesday this had discovered three departed from Russian-made rocket launchers left behind simply by Islamists close to Bourem.
The BM-21 introduction motor vehicles increase a variety with rockets, containers of ammo and also equipment previously associated with different villages and in all likelihood seized coming from Libya following a tumble involving Muammar Gaddafi and also soon after Malian allows retreated past year.
"You contain the entire spectrum," James Bevan, travel connected with Conflict Armament Research, a group that will pinpoints and songs weapons, instructed Reuters right after taking a look at pics of your ruin cache inside Diabaly prior this month.
"This is usually pretty serious ordnance - your levels that will accomplish parity having as well as out and about marker most West African militaries."
(Additional reporting by way of Bate Felix in Dakar, Jean-Baptiste Vey with Athens in addition to Alexandria Sage in Paris; Writing simply by John Irish; Editing by way of Michael Roddy)