French military clear bomb factory in Malian town of Gao
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 00:55
Feb. 13 - French forces found 1,300 pounds of explosive materials inside an abandoned bomb factory in the Malian town of Gao. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION
French forces cleared out a bomb factory in the city of Gao on Wednesday (February 13), where they found 600 kilograms (1,300 pounds) of explosive materials, according to the French military.
Islamist fighters abandoned the factory when they fled the northern Mali city in late January as French and Malian forces approached the town.
Neighbours near the abandoned factory requested that the French sweep the home, where they found evidence that al Qaeda-allied fighters had lived there alongside bomb-making materials and other weapons.
The fighters occupied Gao for ten months until late January, when French and local troops retook the Saharan trading town.
According to the French military, the home was not the only abandoned weapons-making site in town.
Islamist insurgents launched a surprise raid in the heart of the Malian town over the weekend, battling French and local troops in a blow to efforts to secure Mali's recaptured north.
The fighting inside Gao raised fears that pockets of determined Islamists who have escaped the lightning four-week-old French intervention in Mali will strike back with guerrilla attacks and suicide bombings.
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