French troop reinforcements being sent to Kidal have been delayed by a sandstorm near the north Malian town.
But the French defence minister denied that forces were stuck at the airport, and military officials are quoted as saying that soldiers have since been patrolling the streets.
They reportedly met no resistance. Kidal was the last urban bastion held by al-Qaeda-linked rebels.
The capture comes days after French and Malian forces took control of Gao and Timbuktu.
“The president had wanted us firstly to halt the jihadists’ progress towards the south. That was done immediately,” the French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told France Inter radio. “Secondly, he explained that we needed to accompany the Malian – and, when they’re established, the African forces – in recovering Mali’s territorial autonomy and integrity. It’s underway, a lot faster than some imagined.”
France is planning to hand over its mission to a larger African force. The small town of Ansongo near Gao welcomed troops from Niger as they passed through.
The United Nations Security Council is to consider deploying UN troops – a development the French defence minister has described as “extremely positive”.
Copyright © 2014 euronewsMore about:
- 1Divers grapple with inhuman conditions as Sewol ferry salvage continues
- 2MH370: bad weather halts search as ‘unidentified material’ found on Australian coast
- 3War of words grows more heated as Russia accuses the US of ‘running the show’ in Ukraine
- 4Turkish prime minister talks of ‘shared pain’ in statement on Armenian killings
- 5Ukraine: At least five killed amid battle for control of Sloviansk
- 1TV newscaster keeps calm as quake hits Mexico
- 2South Korea: Dramatic amateur footage emerges of final moments before stricken ferry capsizes
- 3Scientists find new Earth-sized planet that could host life
- 4Divers grapple with inhuman conditions as Sewol ferry salvage continues
- 5Dragon docks at International Space Station
Wires > News
- 14:15 CET Chemical weapons watchdog weighs chlorine attack probe – sources
- 14:02 CET Egypt’s army says has ‘complete control’ over Sinai Peninsula
- 13:52 CET U.S. vows to help Libya tackle ‘rising violent extremism’
- 12:44 CET U.S. official says Hamas-PLO government would prompt aid…
- 12:17 CET Three Americans killed in Kabul hospital attack
- 12:14 CET China says it will maintain patrols near Japan’s new island base
- 12:11 CET Former U.S. test site sues nuclear nations for disarmament failure
- 11:16 CET Obama reaffirms commitment to Japan on tour of Asia allies