BAMAKO Jan 10 Mali's army forced Islamist
rebels out of an important northeastern town on Wednesday, a
senior army official said, the first major pushback by
government forces since the north of the country fell to
insurgents last year.
"The army has retaken Douentza, we just had confirmation
that the jihadists have withdrawn following the clash," an
officer at the military junta headquarters told Reuters on
Thursday, requesting not to be named.
It was not immediately possible to independently confirm the
ouster of rebels from Douentza, an important gateway between
north and south some 600 kilometres (375 miles) northeast of the
capital Bamako seized by the rebels in September.