In Mali street battles are said to have been taking place between French special forces and Islamist militants in the town of Diabali, which fell into rebel hands on Monday.
Reports say French troop reinforcements have been arriving in the zone where jihadist groups are active.
French and Malian soldiers have been heading north from Bamako, the African country’s capital, as the ground operation gets underway.
On Tuesday hundreds of troops headed north from Niono. Diabali, 50 kilometres away, was bombarded several times by the French air force.
But witnesses say militants are still there.
“We’re in a better position than last week but the combat continues and it will be long, let’s be honest, the goal is to make sure that Mali regains all of its territory’s sovereignty,” said the French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
In Bamako there is a sense of relief at the French intervention.
“I am happy, very happy about the arrival of the French, for the freedom of the Malian people. There you are. We want the unity of our country and a Republican state and throw out once and for all the terrorists and narco-traffickers,” said resident Oumar Camara.
President Hollande has said the aim is to “destroy the terrorists”.
The number of French troops in the country is set to treble, before a West African force becomes operational.
Army chiefs from the West African force are meeting in Bamako to fine-tune the operation, being launched under a UN mandate.
- 1Snowden, Assange and Manning statues unveiled in Berlin | euronews, world news
- 2Chomsky says US is world’s biggest terrorist | euronews, the global conversation
- 3euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 4Nepal: ‘equally big earthquakes coming in eastern regions,’ expert tells euronews | euronews, world news
- 5It’s a girl: Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge gives birth in London | euronews, world news
- 6How Nepal earthquake devastated Kathmandu’s UNESCO heritage | euronews, world news
- 7Chernobyl Children: what makes Ukrainians born in 1986 different? | euronews, world news
- 8Juncker to Hungarian PM Orban: “Hello, Dictator!”
- 9International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 10Exclusive: unrest in FYR Macedonia could hit other Balkan countries warns Serbian PM | euronews, world news
- 11Evidence of ancient wine found in Georgia a vintage quaffed some 6,000 years BC
- 12Andrea Ferrari: the graphene guru | euronews, science
- 13International tv news | euronews: European and International tv news bulletin
- 14Portuguese language reform law goes global | euronews, world news
- 15EU membership remains Serbia’s priority, says PM Aleksandar Vucic | euronews, the global conversation
- 16Watch: France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen clashes with UKIP MEP Woolfe | euronews, world news
- 17Spain: the viral soldiers fighting in Madrid and Barcelona mayoral races | euronews, world news
- 18How young translators are helping knit European culture together | euronews, generation y
- 19eurovibes - a selection of Europe’s best music talent
- 20We will not be moved! China’s urban spread resistance [PHOTOS]
Wires > News
- 11:42 CET Insight – Unable to halt Europe-bound migrants, Tripoli demands…
- 11:06 CET One killed in rebel shelling of east Ukraine town, coke plant…
- 10:43 CET Greece will not make June IMF repayment – interior minister
- 10:24 CET One Ukrainian civilian killed, two wounded in Avdiyivka shelling -…
- 10:04 CET Women activists cross DMZ to mixed reception on South Korean side
- 09:21 CET Mass graves of suspected trafficking victims found in Malaysia
- 09:07 CET Analysis – The European centre-left’s quandary
- 08:02 CET Rohingya Muslims found on boat rescued by Myanmar navy