French bomb jihadists near Diabaly

Associated Press
This picture released by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD) shows French Mirage 2000 D aircraft flying to N'Djamena overnight January 11 to 12, after taking off from the French military base of Nancy. The battle to retake Mali's north from the al-Qaida-linked groups controlling it began in earnest Saturday, after hundreds of French forces deployed to the country and began aerial bombardments to drive back the Islamic extremists from a town seized earlier this week. (AP Photo/ R.Nicolas-Nelson, Ecpad)
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BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — A Malian intelligence agent posted near the central Malian town of Diabaly confirmed that French pilots launched a raid on Monday morning close to the town.

The bombing run marks an expansion of the battle to retake Mali's north. Until Sunday night, the raids had all occurred in distant northern areas. The bombardments near Diabaly follows airstrikes late Sunday 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of the locality, in the rice growing region of Anatola, once the site of a major USAID-funded project.

The agent, who could not be named because he was not authorized to speak to the press, said that shots rang out near a military base in Diabaly. Soon after, he said French jets flew over the area, dropping bombs.

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