French, Mali troops recover cache of explosives in northern Mali city of Gao

A Malian military spokesman says an enormous stash of explosives has been recovered in the city of Gao in northern Mali.

Daouda Diarra said Wednesday that French military removed some 800 kilograms (1,700 pounds) of explosive materials from a building in Gao's Chateau neighborhood.

He said the explosives had been discovered several days earlier.

French military officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Radical Islamic fighters withdrew from Gao on Jan. 26 after imposing their harsh interpretation of Shariah law in the most populous city in northern Mali for 10 months. Since their retreat, the Islamic extremists have launched two suicide bombings in the last week and invaded the city for a five-hour-long gun battle Sunday in the center of the city.