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12/01/2013Mali army says mopping up after recapturing town from Islamists
The Malian army said Saturday it was attacking the "last pockets of resistance" by Islamist insurgents in Kona, after recapturing the town the day before with the backing of French air power.
"Malian soldiers are mopping up the last pockets of resistance of the Islamists in Kona," a military source told AFP. The town some 700 kilometres (400 miles) from the capital Bamako had fallen into the hands of insurgents who control the north of the vast west African country last Thursday.
"The helicopters struck the insurgents' vehicles, which dispersed. The army is mopping up the city," the source added.
The Malian army announced late Friday it had recaptured the town amid an offensive against Islamists, who had wanted to conquer the government-controlled south of the west African desert nation.
Northern Mali has been a sanctuary for armed Islamist groups including Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Ansar Dine since April last year, the month after a coup rocked the capital Bamako.
© 2013 AFP
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