China to send more than 500 troops to Mali to contain Islamist militants

A PLA officer at a peacekeeping training centre. Photo: Reuters

China has offered to send more than 500 soldiers to the UN force seeking to contain Islamist militants in Mali in what would be its biggest contribution to UN peacekeeping, diplomats said in New York.

Friday, 24 May, 2013, 8:58am

France launches major offensive on Mali Islamists

French soldier takes part in a joint drill with Cote d'Ivoire soldiers ahead of the latters' departure for Mali, in Toumodi, 200 kilometers northwest of Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. Photo: AFP

A French force of 1,000 soldiers in a major offensive has swept a valley thought to be a logistics base for Al-Qaeda-linked Islamists near the Malian city of Gao.

9 Apr 2013 - 12:58pm

Talking points

EU instructors join Mali mission

EU instructors join Mali mission

2 Apr 2013 - 3:43am

French leader vows to restore Mali sovereignty soon

France's President Francois Hollande. Photo: EPA

Mali’s sovereignty over almost all of its territory will be restored within “a few days”, French President Francois Hollande promised as French troops prepare to pull out.

The announcement came as Paris scrambled Wednesday to verify a claim by Al-Qaeda’s north African branch that it had executed a French hostage in retaliation for France’s military intervention in Mali.

21 Mar 2013 - 3:30pm

'Uncatchable' terror leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar reportedly killed in Mali

An image from Mauritanian news agency ANI reportedly shows Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who is said to have been killed by troops. Photo: AFP

The death of one of the world's most wanted jihadists would be a major blow to al-Qaeda in the region and to Islamist rebels already forced to flee towns they had seized in northern Mali by an offensive by French and African troops.

4 Mar 2013 - 5:22am

French in tough fight in northern Mali

French Defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian speaks during a ceremony in Paris for a French soldier recently killed in Mali. Photo: AFP

France’s defence minister says French troops are involved in “very violent fighting” in the mountains of northern Mali, and that it’s too early to talk about a quick pullout from the West African country despite the growing cost of the intervention.

26 Feb 2013 - 6:18pm

Macabre exhibit at Gao city hall of defeated Islamist fighters body parts

Men take photos of Islamist fighters' bodies. Photo: AFP

Mobile phones in hand, they wanted to record the defeat of the militants who attacked the city before rigging themselves with explosives and holing themselves up in the town hall. They died in a hail of Malian army gunfire.

25 Feb 2013 - 5:17am

New violence breaks out in Mali

Tuareg soldiers were fighting what one source said 'seemed to be Arab fighters' near the town of Tessalit. Photo: AP

Fresh fighting erupted yesterday in northern Mali between ethnic Tuareg and an unidentified armed group, security sources said, the latest violence in the wake of a French-led campaign that drove radical Islamist fighters from major cities.

24 Feb 2013 - 6:25am

More Islamist attacks feared in Mali

Anatoly Isaikin. Photo: AP

Russia revealed on Wednesday it was supplying guns to Mali’s government, as French troops defused a massive bomb in the north of the country, the latest bid by Islamist rebels to strike back.

14 Feb 2013 - 3:04pm

France bombs Islamist hideout as Mali insurgency deepens

French soldiers holding F1 assault rifles patrol in Gao, Mali. Photo: AFP

France has bombed an Islamist rebel hideout in northern Mali’s largest city, intensifying a security lock-down against guerilla attacks as the French-led campaign entered its second month.

Witnesses said a French attack helicopter destroyed the central police station in Gao in a pre-dawn assault on Monday.

12 Feb 2013 - 2:09pm

French troops begin withdrawal from Timbuktu

French armoured vehicles are seen heading towards the Niger border before making a left turn north in Gao, northern Mali. Photo: AP

French troops began to withdraw from Timbuktu on Thursday after securing the fabled city as they ramped up their mission in another northern Mali city, searching for Islamic extremists who may be mixing among the local population.

8 Feb 2013 - 2:53pm

France to leave Mali from March

French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (2nd Left) meets soldiers from the third RIMA (Marine Infantry Regiment) on Tuesday in Vannes, France. Photo: AFP

French-led forces have killed hundreds of militants in fighting to reclaim northern Mali and with the rebels’ last bastion secured, France said on Tuesday it will begin withdrawing troops in March.

6 Feb 2013 - 5:02pm

Briefs, February 6, 2013

Alexander Lebedev is a business and media tycoon. Photo: AFP

The Vatican's top official on family policy has opened slightly to the possibility of rights for gay civil unions, although he also stressed that marriage should remain between a man and a woman. "Marriage is a clear legal dimension. 

6 Feb 2013 - 6:02am

Briefs, February 4, 2013

The pod was stranded in shallow waters near Albany. Photo: AFP

Thirty French warplanes blasted Islamist extremist's training and logistics centres in northeastern Mali, hours after President Francois Hollande visited the African country, the military said. 

4 Feb 2013 - 5:22am

Mali sends South Africa crashing in quarter-final shootout

Mali captain Seydou Keita (No 12) celebrates with team mates following their victory over South Africa on Saturyda. Photo: Reuters

Mali again showed incredible resilience to come from behind and knock the host team out of the Africa Cup of Nations in a penalty shootout for the second straight year, joining Ghana in the semi-finals on Saturday.

3 Feb 2013 - 1:36pm