27/01/13 07:25 CET
| updated xx mn ago
| updated at xx
French-led troops in Mali have secured the airport in the northern town of Gao.
The French Defence Ministry confirmed that an important bridge has also been taken by the French although fighting continues in the town.
Gao had been a stronghold of Islamist fighters after it was seized last April.
The Mayor of Gao, Sadou Diallo, who had been forced to flee has now returned. He praised the work of French troops: “I feel as if I’ve just fallen from the sky back home, thanks to God and thanks to France.” He added “I want to thank the French president who answered the call of my president.”
There has also been fighting in the central town of Konna. The Mayor of Konna confirmed that at least 11 civilians had been killed during French airstrikes to drive out militants.
Meanwhile around 100 Chadian vehicles carrying troops are heading towards the border with Mali. They will join French and African forces already fighting al Qaeda-allied fighters in the country’s north.
Wires > News
- 11:53 CET Russian foreign ministry summons Polish ambassador
- 11:45 CET South African court calls for review of decision to drop Zuma…
- 11:42 CET Thailand jails eight activists charged with sedition
- 11:38 CET German minister concerned migrant numbers via Libya, Italy will…
- 11:35 CET Austrian presidential election too close to call, poll suggests
- 11:18 CET German conservatives, Greens set for state coalition – source
- 10:57 CET Russia, U.S. agree ‘regime of silence’ in Syria from midnight on…
- 10:55 CET Australian aid worker believed kidnapped in Afghanistan