Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

A piece of history: US' five former presidents gather for Puerto Rico benefit

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Chic hotels and horse races: Calais tries to shed its 'Jungle' image

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Mashujaa day: Kenyatta and Odinga call for peace before election rerun

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Kurdish referendum a ‘colossal mistake’, says son of late president Talabani

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

The new 30s club: NZ's Jacinda Ardern joins list of maverick leaders

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

After Raqqa; Xi's the boss; and Spain enters unchartered waters

Read more

REPORTERS

The Dictator's Games: A rare look inside Turkmenistan

Read more

#TECH 24

Teaching maths with holograms

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Is China exporting its pollution?

Read more

Africa

Exclusive report from jihadist stronghold in Mali

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-03-07

France 24’s special correspondent in northern Mali, Matthieu Mabin, was able to enter the Ametetai valley, where a decisive battle between French forces and jihadists is raging. Here is his exclusive report.

This is where the final phase of France’s “Operation Serval”, launched on January 11 against Islamist groups in Mali, is unfolding.

It is also where two of the four French soldiers who have died over the course of the operation were killed, and where the French hostages taken by AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) were held.

And it is here that the Chadian army says it recently killed two of the main jihadist leaders, Abu Zeid and Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

A vast inferno of sand and stones situated between Kidal and Tessalit in the northeastern region of the country, the Adrar des Ifoghas mountain range is currently the principal combat zone where French and Chadian forces are facing off against Islamists. In cave after cave, “meter by meter”, as French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian phrased it, soldiers are searching for Islamists tucked away in last-resort hiding places.

Matthieu Mabin, FRANCE 24’s special correspondent in the region, was able to accompany French soldiers on their mission.

Date created : 2013-03-07

  • FRANCE 24 EXCLUSIVE

    French minister of defence on surprise visit to Mali

    Read more

  • MALI - FRANCE

    French troops to begin Mali withdrawal in April

    Read more

  • MALI - FRANCE

    Fourth French soldier killed in Mali operations

    Read more

COMMENT(S)