Volume. 12234

Malian civilians killed in French airstrikes, reports say
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_03_mali(9).jpgFrench warplanes and helicopters have attacked the northern Malian city of Gao.
On Friday and Saturday, French fighter jets bombed areas in and around the town 30 times. 
According to reports, a number of civilians were killed during the operation. 
French Special Forces have seized Gao's airport and a key bridge over the River Niger. 
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has warned that the war in Mali could leave at least 700,000 people homeless. 
On January 11, France launched the war under the pretext of halting the advance of the fighters who control the north of Mali. The United States, Canada, Britain, Belgium, Germany, and Denmark have said they would support the French war in Mali. 
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has also pledged to support the French war by sending 5,800 soldiers to Mali. 
Some political analysts believe that Mali’s abandoned natural resources, including gold and uranium reserves, could be one of the reasons behind the French war. 
Chaos broke out in Mali after President Amadou Toumani Toure was toppled in a military coup on March 22, 2012. The coup leaders said they mounted the coup in response to the government's inability to contain the Tuareg rebellion in the north of the country, which had been going on for two months. 
However, in the wake of the coup d’état, the Tuareg fighters took control of the entire northern desert region, but the Ansar Dine fighters then pushed them aside and took control of the region.
(Source: Press TV)

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