Feb 17 - French and Malian troops secured the north Mali town of Bourem on Sunday, tightening their control over areas where Islamist insurgents have been launching guerrilla attacks to harass the French-led military operation.
"Bourem is a bastion of Islamists," said a military official from an African military contingent called AFISMA.
African troops in this contingent are being deployed behind the French forward lines in the five-week-old intervention by Paris in its former Sahel colony.
Located by the Niger River, Bourem is about 80 km (50 miles) north of Gao at a crossroads between Timbuktu to the west and Kidal to the north, both of which are now under French and Malian government control.
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