France reiterates support for Malian authorities

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France reiterates support for Mali
Paris, May 20: French President Francois Hollande Monday reiterated Paris' support for Malian authorities to restore order and stability after a wave of violence escalated in northern Mali, the president office said in a statement.

During a phone conversation with his Malian counterpart Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Hollande asked that "all truth must be unveiled over these unacceptable killings and violence occurred on the sidelines of Malian prime minister's visit in Kidal", Xinhua reported.

Hollande also urged an "immediate and unconditional release" of hostages kidnapped in Kidal, the statement added.

At least 36 people were killed, including eight soldiers, and 87 were wounded in clashes between Malian army and the Tuareg rebels in Kidal, Malian security sources said.

At the request of the Malian authorities, France launched air and ground operations in the country in January 2013 to help dispel Islamist insurgents from the Malian northern region.

IANS

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