Sat March 2, 2013
The Two-Way

Al-Qaida Leader Reported Killed In Mali

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 2:44 pm

In this image from video, Mokhtar Belmokhtar claims responsibility for a deadly attack on a BP gas facility in Algeria. The Chadian military reported its forces had killed him in a raid in Mali on Saturday.
Uncredited SITE Intel Group/AP

A senior commander for al-Qaida's wing in North Africa has been killed, Chad's military reported on Chadian state television Saturday. NPR could not independently verify the report.

The military said troops attacked an Islamist rebel base in the mountains of northern Mali, killing several militants, including Mokhtar Belmokhtar.

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Fri February 22, 2013
The Two-Way

U.S. Sends Limited Troops To Niger; Will Assist In Intelligece-Gathering

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 10:14 am

A French soldier battles Islamist fighters in Gao, Mali on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013.

President Obama has told Congress the last of about 100 troops has arrived in Niger, where they'll assist French troops with intelligence work. France has an ongoing military operation in neighboring Mali, where troops are pushing out Islamist militants.

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Thu February 21, 2013
The Two-Way

New Fighting In Northern Malian Town Recently Liberated By France

Malian teenagers watch French soldiers pass through Gao, in northern Mali, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013.
Jerome Delay AP

As France continues to talk about withdrawing troops from Mali, following its military operations there against Islamist attackers, there are new reports of fighting in the northern city of Gao.

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Wed February 13, 2013
The Two-Way

Mali's Militants - Did They Really Just Vanish?

Soldiers secure the port in Gao, Mali on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013.
Jerome Delay AP

An enormous cache of explosive material turned up this week in Gao, one of the northern Malian cities retaken by French and Malian troops. There are varying reports on its complexity and size, but the Associated Press reports the French military pulled about 1,700 pounds of explosive material out of a single building.

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Tue February 5, 2013
World Cafe

Festival In The Desert On World Cafe

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 9:16 am

Tinariwen at Mali's Festival in the Desert.
Alice Mutasa Alice Mutasa Photography

In light of ongoing conflicts in Northern Mali, we checked in with Chris Nolan, an organizer of Festival in the Desert — the music festival that takes place each January in the Sahara region where much of the recent fighting has occurred. On today's installment of World Café, Nolan discusses the festival's history and elaborates on the decision to postpone the event this year.

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