Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/24/2013 (1 year 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 (1 year 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 July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Africa

LOOKING GRIM: Sierra Leone's chief Ebola doctor contracts the virus Watch

Image of The WHO says that of the 632 deadly Ebola cases, 206 people had died in Sierra Leone.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sheik Umar Khan, hailed as a "national hero" in Sierra Leone by the health ministry, had been leading the fight to control the recent Ebola outbreak that has killed 206 people in the West African country. Tragically, the 39-year-old medic has now contracted the ... continue reading


GRIEF TAKES TOLL: At least 11 parents of abducted Nigerian schoolgirls have died Watch

Image of Martha Mark, the mother of kidnapped school girl Monica Mark cries as she displays her photo, in the family house, in Chibok, Nigeria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Grief and worry takes its toll on human health. Ever since more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls were abducted by the Boko Haram terror group three months ago, four of their parents have died from heart failure; seven of the girls' fathers were killed in an attack ... continue reading


Nigerian military swears to retake town after massacre by Muslims Watch

Image of The anti-education Muslim group, Boko Haram, attacked a town in northeast Nigeria, displacing 15,000 and killing more than 60 people.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Nigerian terrorist organization Boko Haram has continued its reign of terror, leaving dozens dead in the northeast Nigerian town of Damboa during a July 17 raid, Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) reports. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


How malnutrition kills, and a painful look at the South Sudan crisis Watch

Image of Parents don't like to see their children die and will save them if they can but with limited resources available, difficult choices are made and babies pay the price.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With hundreds of thousands of people, especially children expected to die in South Sudan in the coming months, attention is finally being focused on malnutrition and starvation and the painful process of death which accompanies those conditions. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Mysteries of the Pyramids - Previously hidden painting depicts life in ancient Egypt Watch

Image of The painting depicts what life was like 4,300 years ago in Egypt. It shows boats sailing south on the Nile and also agricultural images. The painting could also have symbolic meaning for life in ancient Egypt. Inside the tomb were also found statues of the 'priest' including his wife and what looks like a dog.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Found about 1,000 feet to the east of the Great Pyramid of Giza, a 4,300 year-old wall painting has been found. The artwork gives a rare peek into the life and times of ancient Egypt. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Discovered in a tomb for a "priest," the ... continue reading


South Sudan economy collapsing as millions begin to starve

Image of A child plays around an abandoned anti-aircraft gun parked in a fallow field.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The awful situation in South Sudan continues to worsen as time runs out for millions of people at risk of starvation. Painfully oblivious to the peril, two warring factions continue to vie for power while aid workers scramble to save lives, often going without meals ... continue reading


Will self-testing for HIV in Africa turn deadly tide? Watch

Image of Sex workers and men who have sex with men (the new euphemism for men who engage in homosexual acts with one another) are among the groups facing the heaviest burden of HIV. These groups are the most hard to reach in terms of testing and treatment.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

HIV self-testing is being explored as a way of encouraging more individuals in Africa, particularly in high risk groups. It's estimated that less than half of all HIV-positive people on the African continent are unaware of their status. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


MAJOR OUTBREAK: Ebola outbreak continues to devastate West Africa Watch

Image of Ebola is a virus that is spread to humans via contact with infected animals and their meat, such as rats and monkeys. It has a high fatality rate an no known cure.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The death toll from the Ebola outbreak which has been devastating West Africa has risen to 603, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported on July 15, with 68 new fatalities in Sierra Leone and Liberia. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The WHO said that the ... continue reading


Spreading like wildfire - Ebola takes 25 more lives in West Africa Watch

Image of The Ebola virus continues to spread in Africa, with 50 new cases developing in three West African countries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Africa continues to struggle with the Ebola virus the World Health Organization (WHO) said on July 8. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Fifty new cases of the disease have been reported, along with 25 deaths in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea since July 3.Give a ... continue reading


CAR rebels siege church, kill unarmed civilians Watch

Image of Between 4,000 and 6,000 Christian civilians live at the the St. Joseph's Cathedral in Bambari. This photo shows them at an earlier Easter Sunday service.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Showing blatant disregard for life and faith, rebel fighters alongside armed Muslim civilians in the Central African Republic killed several people in an attack on a church compound. Thousands of unarmed civilians had taken refuge there to escape the violence ... 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, Jeremiah 1:1, 4-10
1 The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:1-9
1 That same day, Jesus left the house and sat by the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 23rd, 2014 Image

St. Bridget of Sweden
July 23: Saint Birgitta was the daughter of Uppland’s Lagman, Birger ... 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