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Mali Islamists vow to strike 'at heart' of France in response to bombings

Published on Jan 14, 2013 4:54 PM

BAMAKO (AFP) - Islamists based in northern Mali, under daily bombardment by France's warplanes, vowed on Monday to avenge the assault on French soil as well as in Africa.

"France has attacked Islam. We will strike at the heart of France," said Mr Abou Dardar, a leader of Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), an offshoot of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), speaking to AFP by telephone.

Asked where they would strike, he said: "Everywhere. In Bamako, in Africa and in Europe."

The French offensive has blocked the advance of Islamist forces towards the capital Bamako from their bases in the north which they have controlled since last April.

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