FRIDAY FOTO (March 1, 2013)
A French AMX-10RCR armored reconnaissance vehicle passes a tribal ally — possibly a Tuareg — near Gao on the Niger River in mid-February during the French campaign to assist Mali’s beleaguered army retake the northern half of the country. Unfortunately, the article on the French Ministry of Defense website doesn’t give further details about this scene.
The French launched a military intervention Jan. 11 with attack helicopters, fighter jets and some 4,000 troops to halt a militant Islamic insurgency sweeping across the largely desert country that threatened Bamako, the capital. France, Mali’s former colonial ruler, maintained the rebellion could cause Mali to become a safe haven for terrorist groups and launching platform for attacks on Europe. The radical Islamists, with ties to al Qaeda affiliates in Africa, hijacked a rebellion by autonomy-seeking Tuareg tribesman last year. While the Islamist fighters have been driven from most towns and villages, they continue a stubborn resistance in the mountains of Mali’s north.
Entry filed under: Africa, Counter Insurgency, Counter Terrorism, FRIDAY FOTO, Photos, Technology, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: Africa, French troops in Africa, Mali, tank destroyer, Tuaregs, wheeled armored vehicles.