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Fighting continues in Mali with outside troops moving in Bamako


11:22, January 18, 2013

BAMAKO, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- France-backed war against rebel forces in Mali continues on Thursday in the northern region of the West African nation as more supporting troops are arriving from the regional bloc.

Malian army moved in the city of Konna on Thursday afternoon, a stronghold of the army in the middle of the country but was overtaken by the rebel forces from the north last week, according to security sources.

According to the same sources, the locals burst into a jubilation seeing the army returned. The information was confirmed by the military authorities through national television (ORTM) around 20:00 hours Thursday.

Earlier on Thursday morning, security sources said that over the night of Wednesday to Thursday, a number of rebel fighters were killed and major equipment was destroyed in an ambush of the army in the area of Konna.

According to a Malian officer, the enemies were distraught when the army launched the attacks.

Konna is a town, about 690 kilometers from capital Bamako, in which the Mali army was attacked by armed rebel groups last week (Tuesday to Wednesday).

With an urgent request by the Malian government, France dispatched military aircraft and army forces to Mali to back the Malian government driving back the rebels.

The French troops have launched daily airstrikes on the rebels in the last six days and its land forces joined the Malian army on Thursday to conduct operations against the armed rebels in the north and west with intense assault.

In the region of Diabaly on Thursday, the Malian troops arrived in Banamba, a town northeast of Bamako, while French forces continued bombardments of nearby Diabaly, a major town the rebels attacked and occupied in a reprisal following the start of government offensives, according to security sources.

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