Malian army retakes central town from Islamists

BAMAKO Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:18pm EST

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BAMAKO (Reuters) - Mali's armed forces retook the central town of Konna from Islamist rebels with French military support on Friday, a Malian defense ministry official and residents said.

"The Malian army has retaken Konna with the help of our military partners. We are there now," Lieutenant Colonel Diaran Kone told Reuters.

A local shopkeeper confirmed that the army had entered the town, which had been seized on Thursday by the al Qaeda-linked insurgents who control Mali's desert north.

(Reporting By Bate Felix; Writing by Daniel Flynn; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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