War

Sandstorm Delays French Troops in Mali

There's nothing tougher than nature

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France says a sandstorm is preventing its forces from entering the last major town in northern Mali in their offensive against Islamist militants.

The troops remained "blocked" at the airport in Kidal, the French defence minister said.

His statement appeared to conflict with earlier reports that French troops were in the town and militants had left.

French and Malian forces have been sweeping north, earlier taking Gao and Timbuktu with almost no resistance.