French, Malian Troops Report Body Count in Fighting
By Harold Hutchison
French and Malian troops reportedly have killed 15 Islamist rebels during the fighting in the African country’s northern region on Thursday. Two French and four Malian troops were wounded during the day’s conflict.
The battles raged near the city of Gao, which still has what French authorities describe as “pockets of instability” despite being liberated from the Islamist rebels who took over large portions of northern Mali in 2012. French forces began an offensive in January.
The Islamist rebels reportedly are shifting to a guerilla war to try to re-take the region once French troops depart.