France bombs Mali, as more troops arrive in Bamako
BAMAKO/PARIS (REUTERS) - French fighter jets bombed Islamist rebels in Mali for a third day on Sunday as Paris poured more troops into the capital Bamako, awaiting the arrival of a West African force to dislodge Al Qaeda-linked insurgents from the country's north.
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France's dramatic intervention on Friday to bomb a convoy of heavily armed Islamist fighters sweeping southwards had stopped them from seizing Mali's capital Bamako within days.
Western countries fear Islamists could use Mali as a base for attacks on the West, forming a link with Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen, Somalia and North Africa.
Le Drian said former colonial power France was carrying out continuous bombing raids against the alliance of rebel groups, which seized the country's vast desert north in April.