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French air strikes move north, attacks near Gao


Mali

French air strikes move north, attacks near Gao

France has carried out air strikes on Asongo in Mali, just 80 kilmometres south of the Islamist stronghold of Gao.

The French military has released footage from the Malian skies, purportedly showing rebel vehicles being hit from the air.

France intervened in Mali two weeks ago, to push back an Islamic insurgency threatening its former colony.

The capital Bamako has been secured, but the rebels still hold the major northern towns of Timbuktu and Gao.

France, which has now deployed 2,300 troops, has said it will stay as long as needed and a large contingent of West African troops has assembled to support them.

As the air strikes continue, a senior member of the Ansar Dine Islamist group, which helped seize Mali’s north last year, said his fighters are part of a faction that is ready for talks with the government.

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