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French Troops in Mali

Forget Team America. It looks like Team France is trying to save the day for one of its former colonies.

It appears France is making progress after deploying troops to the African country of Mali to battle militant Islamic forces.

Officials say French troops helped reclaimed the Malian city of Konna on Friday, just a day after it fell. It only took a 2-3 hour battle against militant forces. Not bad!

But sadly, conflict comes with a hefty price tag. Officials say a French pilot was killed during a helicopter raid over Mopti , not far from Konna.

Several hundred French troops have also been deployed to Bamako, Mali’s capital, to ensure the city’s security and to protect French nationals. This comes after French hostages were taken into Niger by al Qaeda.

French officials say a lot is at stake. The Islamic forces took over Mali a year ago this month, destroying historic sites and displacing thousands of people. And now, the French fear the militants’ grasp could eventually reach far beyond Malian borders.

“The terrorists breakthrough must be stopped, if not it’s the entire Mali that falls in their hands, with a threat to the whole Africa and Europe,” said Laurent Fabius, French Foreign Minister.

Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says French forces will remain in Mali as long as necessary.

It sounds like a lot is riding on this victory.

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