Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/24/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Insurgents disrupt life in Diabaly, leaving residents fearing for lives

The Malian town of Diabaly is recovering after days of iron-fisted rule of Islamist insurgents. French troops have driven them out of this dusty town of 40,000 residents, but the people here remain thoroughly rattled. Horror stories of soldiers looting, defacing property and threatening civilians have begun to emerge.

The Islamist army stormed through Diabaly last week, ruining the church, smashing away its cross and decapitating religious statues.

The Islamist army stormed through Diabaly last week, ruining the church, smashing away its cross and decapitating religious statues.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/24/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Diabaly, french troops, jihadists, Mali, defectors, terror


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Islamist army stormed through Diabaly last week, ruining the church, smashing away its cross and decapitating religious statues. A pharmacy was looted and homes destroyed. Defecting Malian soldiers joined the melee, local resident said.

French and Malian soldiers swept in and liberated the town to the cheers of the townspeople. After launching airstrikes and a final strike, the French military recaptured Diabaly from Islamist rebels. The emotional scars they have left, however will linger here for generations.

"They are not Muslims," 53-year-old resident Oua Diarra said. "Muslims cannot be thieves. Muslims cannot loot. These men were terrorists.

"The Islamists punished the children simply for crying at the terrible things that they saw ... We were so terrified."

The jihadists were driven out before their form of Shariah law over the town's people, threatening to do so once their grip on the town had been consolidated.

"Most of us, the people of the town, had not been touched by the Islamists, but we knew that it would not be long," one man said. Bringing his family into the town square to shake hands and take photographs with the French soldiers, he added that "They had threatened to punish anyone who broke their laws."

"The Islamists came with food and said they would soon teach us Islamic law," Mema Diakate says. "We knew that eventually we would not be able to stand here -- to come outside and laugh and lead our lives."

Some residents described the rebels as "outsiders" and "foreigners" and said they included some "Arab men." Witnesses also claim fighters from Chad, Somalia and even Afghanistan were among them. Deserters from the Malian army, failing in their efforts to protect the town, dumped their uniforms and joined the enemy.

Many residents are critical of the inability of the Malian army to hold the garrison town.

They recall dozens of fighters, perhaps as many as 200, managing to flee in a convoy of 4x4 vehicles. Some headed north into the desert while others vanished into forest.

The French military as it advances north from Diabaly remain acutely aware that while their enemy is melting away, it hasn't disappeared.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Africa

'God told me to cut off children's heads and bring them to him...': Ivory Coast children kidnapped and brutally butchered in suspected ritual killings Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"God told me to do this. God told me to cut off children's heads and bring them to him and then I would be made king," stated Drissa Coulibaly after being caught hacking at two young boys with a machete in Yopougon, a suburb of Abidjan. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Outraged Egyptians confront government over mysterious death of human rights activist Watch

Image of Egyptian human rights activist Chaimaa Sabbagh was killed on Thursday during a rally celebrating the fourth anniversary of the uprising that ousted former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak.

By Kaci Racelma, Catholic Online

On Thursday, a crowd of women gathered in Cairo to demand an investigation into the death of Chaimaa Sabbagh, a human rights activist who spoke against the dictatorial regime that took over Egypt after the ousting of former leader Hosni Mubarak. ALGEIRS, ALGERIA ... continue reading


Thrilling nature video shows two leopards taking down warthog Watch

Image of An employee at Londolozi private reserve in Sabi Sands, the photographer and his party encountered the first leopard waiting for the warthog to emerge from its hole during an early morning drive.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A "once in a lifetime sighting" of two leopards battling over a warthog has been captured by a game ranger. Working on a private reserve to the west of South Africa's Kruger National park, Simon Smit has shared his incredible footage online. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Elusive African golden cat is caught hunting monkeys in extremely rare camera trap video Watch

Image of The African golden cat is the least known and most elusive cat on Earth.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Rare footage of the African golden cat provides more insight into the mysterious life of one of the least known cats on earth. Recorded by a camera trap, the elusive wild cat is seen hunting in the broad daylight of Kibale National Park in Uganda. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Following Tripoli hotel attack, African Union mulls military intervention Watch

Image of Libya's capital, Tripoli, is controlled by several militant groups as well as the Libyan government.

By Kaci Racelma, Catholic Online

The deteriorating situation in Libya appears to have the African Union seriously concerned, following a deadly attack on a hotel in Tripoli which left nine people dead, including five foreigners. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - The African Union's ... continue reading


1,000 CHURCHES DESTROYED! Fear of more Muslim attacks on Christianity escalate during Nigerian election Watch

Image of Christians often have to face brutal violence from Muslims, just because they're Christians.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Muslim persecution of Christians is unfortunately not something new for those in Nigeria, a population made up of half Muslim and half Christian people. Their upcoming presidential election awakens more fear in Nigerian Christians; the outcome of the election can put ... continue reading


If you could save a child from a life of war and violence would you? What about 3,000? U.N. secures release of South Sudan child soldiers Watch

Image of Child soldiers are heavily used in Africa, especially among rebel groups, in which these children are conscripted to fight by force.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The United Nations has taken another step in its role as a demobilizer and protector of conscripted child soldiers, securing a promise from South Sudan to release about 3,000 former child soldiers, an act which the U.N. labeled "one of the largest ever ... continue reading


GRISLY HUMAN HARVEST: Tanzania's albinos are hunted down and mutilated for witch doctor potions Watch

Image of Albinos here are regularly attacked by people who chop their limbs off, leaving them severely mutilated or dead.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Albinism, a condition that robs the body of pigments, affects a small section of the population. In the African nation of Tanzania, however, albinos are prized for their body parts - said to bring luck according to local witch doctors. This has led to ... continue reading


JOINING FORCES: Algeria and Niger work together over national security Watch

Image of Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Niger's head of state Mohamadou Issoufou, pictured, have joined forces on security issues.

By Kaci Racelma, Catholic Online

Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Niger's head of state Mohamadou Issoufou have joined forces on security issues. A three-day visit, begun this past weekend allowed the two countries to agree on further cooperation. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Boko Haram closes in! Nigeria loses critical military city to the savage terrorism group Watch

Image of Boko Haram takes control of strategic Nigerian city on it's path to attacking Maiduguri.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Boko Haram seized control of Nigerian city, Monguno on January 25, after launching a simultaneous attack on Monguno and the capital of Borno, Maiduguri. Both cities are in the corner of Nigeria, near the borders of Chad and Cameroon. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Deuteronomy 18:15-20
15 Yahweh your God will raise up a prophet like me; ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 95:1-2, 6-7, 7-9
1 Come, let us cry out with joy to Yahweh, acclaim ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 1:21-28
21 They went as far as Capernaum, and at once on the ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 7:32-35
32 I should like you to have your minds free from all ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 1st, 2015 Image

St. Brigid of Ireland
February 1: Brigid was probably born at Faughart near Dundalk, Louth, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter