The French military is going in deeper
to the haven-like areas where the al Qaeda dwell in Mali:
PARIS (Reuters) - French forces searching for al Qaeda-linked militants in the hidden valleys of the remote north of Mali are now deep in the Islamists' sanctuary, France's defense minister said on Friday.
A day after a visit to Mali, Jean-Yves Le Drian said the current phase of the eight-week-old French-led offensive was the hardest, as it required winkling the Islamist fighters out of entrenched positions in the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains.
French soldiers killed about 15 militants this week after discovering a small army of jihadists in the Ametetai valley.
Some 30 French soldiers were wounded in the operation and a French national fighting for the Islamists was taken prisoner, Le Drian told Europe 1 radio on Friday.
"Now it's a bit more difficult because we're in the sanctuary," Le Drian said. "We knew this part of Mali was potentially the sanctuary of AQIM (al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb), and we weren't wrong."
"The search is continuing as of yesterday afternoon in the other valleys, because the whole territory has to be cleaned out completely."
And if any POWs were taken, they have to make sure they rescue them. But so long as Islamism is around, even if they do scrub the valley of the al Qaeda, the dangers posed by Islamofascism could still come back.
Labels: Africa, France, islam, jihad, military, terrorism, war on terror