French Elite Special Operations soldiers drive through the town of Markala, about 275km from the capital Bamako, to meet Malian soldiers and organise a counter-attack in the jihadist-held town of Diabaly.

AXA AFR

MALI-CONFLICT-ITALY

ROME January 16 Sapa-AFP

ITALY SAYS READY TO PROVIDE LOGISTICAL SUPPORT IN MALI

Italy is ready to provide logistical support to the military offensive against Islamists in Mali, Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said Wednesday.

He said the six-day-old offensive, launched by France, was in line with UN Security Council resolution 2085, adopted in December and calling for a 3,000 strong African-led mission to intervene in Mali in the absence of any negotiated settlement.

Sapa-AFP

/sdv 01/16/13 15-01