Casualties feared as French forces strike militant sites in Mali

By Moussa Bolly, Monday, August 11, 2014

French forces on Monday struck militant sites in northern Mali on Monday amid unconfirmed reports about casualties.

French forces on Monday struck militant sites in northern Mali on Monday amid unconfirmed reports about casualties.

BAMAKO – French forces on Monday struck militant sites in northern Mali on Monday amid unconfirmed reports about casualties.

"We have no idea about casualties among militants," a Malian military source told Anadolu Agency.

The source, however, expected a "heavy" death toll from the French raids.

According to eyewitnesses, French planes struck militant sides in Essakana village in northern Mali.

Witnesses said that 11 people were killed and four trucks destroyed in the French raids.

There was no comment from either Malian authorities or France's impending Barkhan military operation in West Africa.

Earlier reports had cited the presence of Qaeda militants in the area, which was struck by French planes on Monday.

The Timbuktu Airport, in northern Mali, had also come under rocket fire weeks ago, which was blamed on Qaeda militants. The attack came only one week after the leader of the Islamist Ancar Eddine group threatened attacks against French forces in Mali.

French troops have been battling Al-Qaeda-affiliated militant movements in Mali since 2013.

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