Mali assault: Islamist rebels gone from town of Douentza
SEGOU, Mali (AP) - Malian forces on Tuesday held control of the strategic town that was under extreme Islamist rule for four months, as the French-led military intervention pushed northward in its second week.
Douentza had been the outer edge of Islamist rebel control until the militants surged southward earlier this month. While far from the capital, Douentza is only 190km from Mopti, which marks the line-of-control held by the Malian military.
On Monday, French and Malian troops arrived in Douentza to find that the Islamists already had retreated from the town, local adviser Sali Maiga told The Associated Press.
A convoy of pickup trucks carrying bearded men had entered Douentza back in September, and in the months that followed the Islamist extremists forced women to wear veils and enlisted children as young as 12 as soldiers in training.