Hollande says Mali intervention has 'stopped' Islamists
President Francois Hollande said Saturday that French military intervention in Mali has halted the advance of Islamists trying to push south from their northern stronghold.
Hollande said French air power, deployed on Friday to stem the rebel onslaught, had "served to halt our adversaries," adding that the intervention "has but only one goal which is the fight against terrorism."
"Our foes have suffered heavy losses," he said.
Several West African nations have pledged the deployment of hundreds of soldiers after French forces helped Mali's army push back the rebels who had taken a key town, Konna, seen as one of the last ramparts against a further Islamist advance.
© 2013 AFP