1. Siege

    Mali Town Battered by Airstrikes

    French troops from the "Licorne" operation based in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) arrive at the 101st military airbase near Bamako on January 15, 2013 to reinforce the "Serval" operations, before their deployment in the north of Mali.France has deployed 700 troops in and around Paris, Interior Minister Manuel Valls revealed Tuesday in the latest indicator of mounting concern over potential reprisals for military intervention in Mali. Leaders of the militant Islamist groups under attack in the West African state have warned that France has "opened the doors of hell" by unleashing its warplanes and have called on fellow extremists to hit back on French soil. . AFP PHOTO /ERIC FEFERBERG        (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)

    French troops arrive in Bamako, Mali on Tuesday. (Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty)

    French forces conducted a nighttime bomb attack Monday on the Mali town of Diabaly, believed to be controlled by Islamic militants. Speaking at a military base in Abu Dhabi, French President François Hollande said the overnight strikes “hit their targets” and said the “deployment of forces on the ground and in the air” will continue. Meanwhile, West African defense chiefs are scheduled to meet in Bamako on Tuesday to speed up the deployment of 3,300 African troops. Senegal, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, and Guinea have all offered to send troops to aid the Malian government—although Nigeria, the leader of the mission, has cautioned against rushing in. The U.S. has also pledged support.

    Read it at Reuters