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.


French president in Mali visit

There was a hero's welcome for France's President Hollande when he arrived in Timbuktu. He was visiting the desert city in Mali, after its recapture from Islamic extremists.