French-led troops move towards Timbuktu

A Malian solider stands near a wall with bullet holes in the recently liberated town of Konna.
A Malian solider stands near a wall with bullet holes in the recently liberated town of Konna. Credit: Eric Gaillard

French and Malian forces fighting Islamist rebels seized control of the rebel bastion of Gao, claiming their biggest military success so far in the assault against Islamist fighters occupying the north of the country.

From Gao forces will move further north towards the ancient city of Timbuktu and Kidal.

There have been 30 French air strikes on militant targets around Gao and Timbuktu in the past 36 hours.

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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.