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Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali

 
Anonymous Coward
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01/26/2013 08:56 AM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
MUJWA Ready to release French Hostages

Islamist group has proposed Saturday to "negotiate the release" of a French hostage in Mali, while the French and Malian soldiers are close to major cities in the north, bastions jihadists. French and Malian soldiers, after having taken three localities in central and west Friday began the reconquest of North occupied by Islamist groups for more than nine months, heading for the cities of Timbuktu and Gao.

It is this pressure that the Movement for the uniqueness and jihad in Africa West (Mujao), present in Gao, announced Saturday ready to negotiate the release of a French held. "The Mujao is willing to negotiate the release of the hostage Gilberto," said Walid Abu Sarhaoui, Mujao spokesman, referring to the French Gilberto Rodriguez Leal, taken in November 2012 in western Mali.

[link to translate.google.com]
Anonymous Coward
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01/26/2013 10:04 AM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
According to r**ters, French special forces operating in GAO.
insertfunnyusername

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01/26/2013 10:14 AM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
According to r**ters, French special forces operating in GAO.
 Quoting: DarbyDoom


Here it is:
[link to www.dailystar.com.lb]

Mali dispatch: 'Why join the Islamists? Because they pay more'
Do you fight for your impoverished country, or take the jihadists' coin? Colin Freeman in Diabaly talks to Malians weighing up their grim options.

[link to www.telegraph.co.uk]

Last Edited by insertfunnyusername on 01/26/2013 10:15 AM
insertfunnyusername

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01/26/2013 11:03 AM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
A senior French military officer has said France is better off without Nato or EU help to "reconquer" north Mali.

Colonel Michel Goya, a serving officer and an expert at the l'Institut de Recherche Strategique de l'Ecole Militaire in Paris, told EUobserver in an interview on Thursday (24 January): "We have more freedom of action if we do it alone than if we go through Nato procedures. It would be even worse at EU level. If we do it alone, it's more efficient in military terms."

He said Nato operations run into problems because some countries take a back seat.
[link to euobserver.com]

Algeria's foreign minister has admitted that his government's security forces made mistakes during the hostage crisis at the In Amenas gas plant, in which 38 civilians and 29 militants died, including six British nationals.
[link to www.independent.co.uk]

General Mohamed 'Tewfik' Mediene, Algeria's rarely photographer spymaster, is considered by some to be more powerful the country's president

If anyone in Algeria knows the full story of what happened at the In Amenas gas facility in the Sahara it is General Mohamed "Tewfik" Mediene. And he, characteristically, is not talking.
[link to news.apsou.gr]

Algeria's secrets obscure the 'war on terror' in the Sahara

Which is the biggest country in Africa? And which is Europe's third largest gas supplier, after Russia and Norway? The answer to both is Algeria, although not many people in the English-speaking world - the French are better informed about their former colony - would know.

[link to www.thenational.ae]

Last Edited by insertfunnyusername on 01/26/2013 11:12 AM
Anonymous Coward
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01/26/2013 03:20 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
The French have supposedly re-taken GAO - they just flew the mayor (who had fled to Bamako) back in..

Mali and French troops have reinstalled the mayor in his city of Gao on Saturday 26 January. They arrived at the airport of the city filmed by the team of France 2, and Gérard Grizbec Fréréric Ranc.

[link to translate.google.com]
Anonymous Coward
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01/26/2013 03:39 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Another story about French re-taking GAO

Mali: French-led troops retake Gao from Islamists

French-led troops have recaptured the Islamist stronghold of Gao in a spectacular boost to a 16-day-old offensive against Al Qaeda-linked rebels holding Mali's vast desert north.

The seizure of Gao, the most populated town in Mali's northern region which is roughly the size of Texas, was announced by the French defence ministry on Saturday evening and confirmed by Malian security sources.
Paris said troops from Niger and Chad "will pick up the baton" and that the town's mayor Sadou Diallo would arrive in Gao from the capital Bamako later on Saturday.

"A first contingent of Malian, Chadian and Nigerien troops are presently in Gao to help secure the town," a Malian security source told AFP by telephone from the town.

In a parallel pincer-like movement, troops from Chad and Niger moved towards the Malian border from the Niger town of Ouallam, which lies about 60 miles southeast of Gao.

[link to www.telegraph.co.uk]
Anonymous Coward
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01/26/2013 03:55 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Algeria hostage crisis: BP and partners 'used trucking company owned by AQIM Leader's brother'

[link to soc.li]
Chrit

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01/26/2013 04:00 PM

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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
This just went up 30 min ago.



In a later press release entitled "French and Malian troops liberate Gao" the French ministry of defense said they were bringing back the town's mayor, Sadou Diallo, who had fled to Mali's capital Bamako far to the west.

However, a city official interviewed by telephone by The Associated Press said coalition forces so far only controlled the airport, the bridge and surrounding neighborhoods.

And in Paris, a defense ministry official clarified that the city had not been fully liberated, and that the process of freeing Gao was continuing.


Long read [link to www.huffingtonpost.com]


The only reason I saw this is I'm still trying to figure out what bridge they blew, I saw pics from a few hours ago and the main one is still up as far as I have seen. Not easy to get a road map of Gao let me tell you!
I'm only human, it's my biggest flaw.

We must all realize a sink a chair and a pillow are all luxuries of home and a soldiers helmet takes the place of all three.
Anonymous Coward
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01/26/2013 04:50 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
CNN Report on Capture of GAO - Providing link because I liked the pictures

[link to www.cnn.com]

Chrit - The blown-up bridge was not in GAO it was in a little town called Tassiga. If the militants had also taken out the bridge in GAO there would have been a 100 mile stretch of Niger River w/o crossing...

Here's story on bridge -

[link to bostonglobe.com]

Note - Tassiga is between GAO and border w/ Niger
Chrit

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01/26/2013 05:36 PM

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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
CNN Report on Capture of GAO - Providing link because I liked the pictures

[link to www.cnn.com]

Chrit - The blown-up bridge was not in GAO it was in a little town called Tassiga. If the militants had also taken out the bridge in GAO there would have been a 100 mile stretch of Niger River w/o crossing...

Here's story on bridge -

[link to bostonglobe.com]

Note - Tassiga is between GAO and border w/ Niger
 Quoting: DarbyDoom


Ahh I see

Thank you ,thank you.

hf
I'm only human, it's my biggest flaw.

We must all realize a sink a chair and a pillow are all luxuries of home and a soldiers helmet takes the place of all three.
Anonymous Coward
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01/26/2013 09:01 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
@PentagonPresSec: The United States will continue to support the French mission in Mali, and we will provide airlift into Mali for African countries also.

Looks like US support is increasing...
Anonymous Coward
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01/27/2013 09:52 AM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Extremists in Birmingham UK quizzed by anti-terrorism investigators due to fears that the terror attack in Amenas Algeria was planned and directed from abroad.

Special Branch officers from Scotland Yard’s elite SO13 unit are in Birmingham and Leicester in an effort to track down alleged militants with links to an Al Qaida-affiliated group which attacked the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria, killing four British hostages.

Detectives have already questioned a number of men in the region who have previously been under surveillance.

The secret raids centred on addresses in Birmingham and Leicester as the security services executed a shakedown of known extremists.

Detectives are particularly keen to trace an Algerian suspect, who was believed to be living in the Sparkbrook area of Birmingham, and is alleged to be a high ranking member of Tafkir-Wal-Hijra, which is associated with Al Qaida.

[link to www.birminghammail.co.uk]
Anonymous Coward
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01/27/2013 10:47 AM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
OT - But Near & Dear to Me...

In 2011, the world was barraged with images of Libyans fleeing Gaddafi's repression BUT no one talks about the huge number of refugees created when the Gaddafi regime fell.

The crisis in Mali was created when Tuaregs, who had fought in Gaddafi's Arab Army since the 1970s, fled to Mali & Niger. At least they had a country to return to, even if many of them were born in Libya.

What about the Libyans who supported to Gaddafi who had no ties to other countries? There have been reports of 600k refugees in Tunisia and up to that number in Egypt. There are also regime loyalists in Morocco and Mauritania.

For the first time, in a OP/ED, a British newspaper in Tripoli at least mentioned the Libyan refugee crises. Here's the mention -

Upwards of one million Libyan political refugees are estimated to be living in Egypt, Tunisia, and elsewhere. This number accounts for nearly 20 percent of the total Libyan population, a number which makes it practically impossible for the country to move forward, achieve stability, and remain united if these Libyans in exile are not brought into the fold and convinced they have a stake in the country’s future.

[link to www.libyaherald.com]
Anonymous Coward
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01/27/2013 10:49 AM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
French defense chief visits Saudi Arabia with Mali seen as main topic

[link to english.alarabiya.net]
Anonymous Coward
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01/27/2013 10:57 AM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
French Moving on the three major towns of Northern Mali -

French Troops in Mali pushed on to Timbuktu as allied forces (French, Malian, Chadian & Nigerien) begin to deploy in Gao. The French are also expected to move on Kidal later today.

[link to nyti.ms]
Anonymous Coward
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01/27/2013 11:01 AM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
U.S. expands aid to French mission in Mali

The United States is significantly expanding its assistance to a French assault on Islamist militants in Mali by offering aerial refueling and planes to transport soldiers from other African nations, the Pentagon announced Saturday night.

The gesture comes amid a debate within the Obama administration about how deeply it should engage in the French effort to prevent Islamists from wresting control of the West African nation. French requests for more robust support from Washington raised a legal dilemma because U.S. law forbids foreign assistance funds to leaders that came to power through a coup. Mali’s military leaders, including some trained by U.S. troops, seized power last year by force.

[link to www.washingtonpost.com]
Anonymous Coward
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01/27/2013 01:09 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
French and Malian forces encircle Timbuktu

French and Malian forces are preparing an offensive on the symbolic city of Timbuktu, captured by Islamist militants last year. FRANCE 24 special correspondent Matthieu Mabin reports from the outskirts of the ancient town.

[link to www.france24.com]
Anonymous Coward
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01/27/2013 01:20 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Mali: French Kidal airstrikes against military targets Ansar Dine

French and Malian forces are now concentrating on key cities in the north of Mali. They took control, this Saturday, January 26, the city of Gao, who was in the hands of Mujao. They are now moving to Timbuktu, controlled by AQIM. And the French Air Force conducted strikes against Kidal targeted military sites Ansar Dine, who holds the city.

[link to translate.google.com]

Unconfirmed report that the leader of Ansar Dine, Iyad Ag Ghaly, was killed in an airstrike in Kidal.
insertfunnyusername

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01/27/2013 01:28 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - UN will deploy an international peacekeeping operation in Mali once the armed operation to oust Islamist insurgents is over, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon announced here Sunday. Addressing the African Union (AU) Summit, which was mostly dominated by the crisis in Mali, Ban said the UN was committed to doing whatever was possible to help the Malian people in need of international assistance.
[link to www.afriquejet.com]
Anonymous Coward
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Liberated Malians celebrate, French-led forces clear Timbuktu BUT fear of insurgency grows -

...In the face of the two-week-old French-Malian counter offensive, the rebels seemed to be pulling back north into the trackless desert wastes and mountain fastnesses of the Sahara.

Military experts fear they could carry on a gruelling hit-and-run guerrilla war against the government from there...

At Konna, 500 km (312 miles) southeast of Gao and recently recaptured from the rebels, some people were still afraid.

"No-one believes the rebels will give up without resisting. They may be regrouping for an attack, there is fear of a guerrilla war," said Salou Toure, a middle-aged resident of Timbuktu who had fled that town three months ago...

[link to thestar.com.my]
Anonymous Coward
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01/28/2013 07:27 AM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Two guards killed in pipeline attack in Northern Algeria -

[link to translate.google.com]
Anonymous Coward
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01/28/2013 07:43 AM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Fleeing Islamists Burn Manuscript Filled with Priceless Manuscripts in Timbuktu.

Peter Tinti (@petertinti)
1/28/13, 7:37 AM
Just off phone w mayor of Timbuktu (note: he is in Bamako). Confirmed that manuscript library was burned, according to a local source #Mali
Anonymous Coward
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01/28/2013 08:12 AM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
According the RFI, the MNLA is entering Kidal - secular Tuaregs are attempting to take city from Islamists -

RFI Afrique (@RFIAfrique)
1/28/13, 7:48 AM
Selon une source contactée par RFI, le MNLA serait entré dans la ville de Kidal au nord du #Mali
Anonymous Coward
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
MSM report on Burning of Manuscripts in Timbuktu

Fleeing Islamist extremists torched a library containing historic manuscripts in Timbuktu, the mayor said Monday, as French and Malian forces closed in on Mali's fabled desert city. Ousmane Halle said he heard about the burnings early Monday.

[link to www.csmonitor.com]
insertfunnyusername

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01/28/2013 06:04 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Canadian special forces are on the ground inside the troubled West African country of Mali to protect Canadian assets there, CBC News has learned.

The Special Forces are not there to train Malian troops - and they are not involved in any combat role, as the government has repeated stressed and Prime Minister Stephen Harper repeated again Monday in the House of Commons.
[link to www.cbc.ca]

Mali, the strife-torn West African nation, has been approved to receive an $18.4 million loan from the International Monetary Fund to help stabilize its economy over the next 12 months, the IMF said on Monday.
[link to news.yahoo.com]
Anonymous Coward
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Recaptured by moonlight, the fabled desert city where Islamists burned books in a bitter farewell

The recapture of Timbuktu was done by moonlight. More than 250 French troops parachuted down to the northern entrance of the fabled desert city, while an armoured column sealed the southern exit. After close to a year of occupation by Islamists, which has driven more than half the population from Mali’s cultural heart and left an unknown toll on its famous libraries and shrines, the ordeal was over.

“Not a shot was fired,” said a French Colonel who declined to give his name, but confirmed he had led the 12-day operation to retake the city.

[link to www.independent.co.uk]
Anonymous Coward
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01/29/2013 06:57 AM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
Hundreds of British Troops to be deployed in Mali as General warns of Guerilla warfare.

[link to ow.ly]
insertfunnyusername

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01/29/2013 11:00 AM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
The US is planning to consolidate its position in Africa with a new drone outpost in Niger, with the stated purpose of providing unarmed surveillance support to French efforts in Mali and keeping tabs on al-Qaeda elements on the continent.

The robotic unmanned aircraft would likely be based in Niger, on the eastern border of Mali, where French forces are currently waging a campaign against Al-Qaeda, AFP reported, quoting an anonymous official.

If the plan is approved, up to 300 US military servicemembers and contractors could be sent to the base to operate the drone aircraft, the New York Times reported. US Africa Command is also considering another location as an alternative to the base in Burkina Faso, the official said.
[link to rt.com]
Anonymous Coward
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
The US is planning to consolidate its position in Africa with a new drone outpost in Niger, with the stated purpose of providing unarmed surveillance support to French efforts in Mali and keeping tabs on al-Qaeda elements on the continent.

The robotic unmanned aircraft would likely be based in Niger, on the eastern border of Mali, where French forces are currently waging a campaign against Al-Qaeda, AFP reported, quoting an anonymous official.

If the plan is approved, up to 300 US military servicemembers and contractors could be sent to the base to operate the drone aircraft, the New York Times reported. US Africa Command is also considering another location as an alternative to the base in Burkina Faso, the official said.
[link to rt.com]
 Quoting: insertfunnyusername


The US Ambassador suggested the base would be in Northern Niger - convenient to Libya...

The one city in Northern Mali that has not been "liberated" is Kidal - the only city in Northern Mali that is overwhelmingly Tuareg.

Here's an excerpt from an RFI article -

Mali, Timbuktu and Gao are now in the hands of French forces and Mali. Nigerian and Chadian soldiers are in turn entered this Tuesday, January 29, 2013 in the town of Ansongo. But another great northern city is in a particular situation, since jihadists have gone but always escapes the control of the Malian government and its allies. This city is Kidal. MNLA rebel movements and MIA claim to have resumed Monday.

What will be the fate of Kidal? The city will she witnessed a military reconquest? And if so, by whom?

The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and the new Islamic Movement of Azawad (MIA), composed of dissidents Ansar Dine, plead for negotiations.

They need to be involved in the fight against the jihadists. But they can still be heard in Bamako, where Tuareg rebels are still seen as those who opened the gates of hell Mali?

"Between Paris and Bamako, we do not put the same content in the term terrorist. MNLA but did nothing to improve his image by saying that he came to Kidal Malian army to prevent from entering, "says a diplomat.

Kidal is in a particular situation. Unlike Gao and Timbuktu, the city is populated almost exclusively by Tuaregs. A possible rise in the area of the Malian army supplies more than elsewhere fears of retribution.

[link to translate.google.com]
insertfunnyusername

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01/29/2013 07:54 PM
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Re: Watch as it Develops - The Staged War Against Islamists in Northern Mali
French-backed Malian troops searched house-to-house in Gao and Timbuktu on Tuesday, uncovering arms and explosives abandoned by Islamist fighters, and France said it aimed to hand over longer-term security operations in Mali to an African force.
[link to www.news-panel.com]

A special representative for China will attend an international donors' conference on Mali, according to a Foreign Ministry announcement on Tuesday.
[link to english.peopledaily.com.cn]

The UN's special representative for Libya told the Security Council that France's offensive in Mali could drive Islamic rebels into Libya.
[link to www.globalpost.com]

News