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Wed Jan 30, 2013, 08:44 PM

French troops in Mali take Kidal, last Islamist holdout

Source: BBC

31 January 2013 Last updated at 01:01 GMT

French troops in Mali take Kidal, last Islamist holdout

French forces have secured the northern Malian town of Kidal, the last main stronghold of Islamist rebels in the region, military officials say.

Militant Islamist fighters had already left the town, near the Algerian border, and are believed to be hiding in the surrounding mountains.

-snip-

The BBC's Thomas Fessy in Timbuktu says the capture of Kidal marks the end of the first phase of the military operation to oust militants from northern Mali.

France is now expecting the deployment of thousands of African forces to support the second phase - driving the al-Qaeda-linked fighters from their desert hideouts.

-snip-


Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21271345

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