French planes bomb airport in Mali
Monday 14 Jan 2013 6:33 a.m.
Fighters from the Islamic militant group the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA) ride on a truck in the northeastern Malian city of Gao (Reuters)
Three residents of the provincial capital of Gao in northern Mali say that French planes have bombed the city, hitting the airport, a building which served as the headquarters of the Islamic police and a militant base.
Abderahmane Dicko, a teacher, said that he heard the planes in the sky on Sunday between noon and 1pm. He says the bombs were dropped on specific locations in the city known to be occupied by the al-Qaida-linked rebels controlling the town.
The bombardment was confirmed by two other residents, Ahmadou Fneidy and Younouss Toure.
French President Francois Hollande authorised airstrikes over Mali on Friday, after the Islamists controlling the north pushed even further south, taking the town of Konna last Thursday.