French helicopters 'bombarding' rebels in Gao

A resident in the northern Malian town of Gao described France's strike on the Mali rebel stronghold as a "bombardment".

Two helicopters are bombarding the positions of the Islamists, who are trying to fight back. The planes are so fast you only hear their sound in the sky.

– Gao resident Soumaila Maiga

A spokesman for Islamist rebel group Ansar Dine said French aircraft had also attacked its positions in the smaller towns of Lere and Douentza, further south.