French forces have encountered very little resistance from Islamist rebels during their operation in Mali, and there are questions over their whereabouts.
Abdoulaye Dicko from the Malian town of Boni spoke to The Guardian about one group of rebels' return after fleeing temporarily.
He said: "The rebels didn't ever leave. They are still living in caves or in the forest, not far from Boni".
"When the French army drove past we all cheered and waved, shouting: 'Vive la France.' But the French didn't stop. And then a few days later, on Monday night, five of them came back and shot me. They also shot my wife and my daughter."
Mr Dicko's wife and daughter survived the attack and are also recovering in hospital.
Throughout ten months of Islamist rule, the people of Timbuktu risked their lives to preserve the artefacts of their ancient heritage.
Francois Hollande is due to visit Timbuktu during his visit to the West African country this weekend. He will be welcomed by many.
Downing Street have been explaining what offers the UK have made to the military effort in Mali.