26 Jan 2013

Govt and French troops advance on Gao in Mali

8:45 pm on 26 January 2013

Security forces in Mali say government and French troops are advancing on the rebel stronghold of Gao a day after retaking another town held by Islamist militants controlling the north of the country.

The BBC reports the town of Hombori was recaptured on Friday after French warplanes bombed rebel positions in the region - its retaking a significant incursion into previously rebel-held territory.

Rebels have blown up a bridge which lies along the road from Niger to Gao. This was intended to make it difficult for around 2000 Chadian and 500 Nigerian troops to enter Mali from Niger.