French military says it is engaged alongside Malian and UN forces in a "large-scale" operation to prevent a resurgence of "terrorist movements".
The man, who was fighting with the insurgents when captured by French troops, is likely to be repatriated to France to face terrorism charges.
As in many recent conflicts involving Western intervention in other countries, France’s decision to wage war against Islamist militants in Mali has been accused by some as furthering its energy interests and economic investments, a suggestion that President François Hollande has unequivocally denied. Mediapart’s international affairs specialist Thomas Cantaloube finds the truth lies in between as he examines here just what are France's interests in the region. While Mali has quasi-inexistent mineral or energy resources, in the wider Sahel area, comprising the north of Mali, the east of Mauretania, Niger and parts of Algeria and Libya, the energy issue is significant.
French defence minister claims 'several hundred' Islamist militants have been killed since France launched an offensive against them in Mali last month.
French fighter jets began bombing missions over northern Mali on Sunday, where they are targeting Jihadist bases and supply depots, in the second - and what President François Hollande hopes will be the final – stage of France’s military campaign to oust the rebels from the West African country, and which began on January 11th. But while the war has so far been a political triumph for Hollande, the future is clouded by both the continuing delays in forming an adequate pan-African force to allow for a French withdrawal, and the new military challenges of fighting the rebels in mountainous terrain with which they are especially familiar. Lénaïg Bredoux reports.