French warplanes have struck further north in Mali, pounding Islamist strongholds and forcing the insurgents to flee, as preparations for the African intervention force took shape in the capital.
A picture released by the French Army Communications Audiovisual office (ECPAD) on January 13, 2013 shows French soldiers equipping a French Rafale fighter jet with A2SM ammunitions at the French military base of Saint-Dizier before its departure for a base in Chad. Four French Rafale fighter jets bombed targets on January 13, 2013 near the northern Malian city of Gao.
In the third day of the French intervention on Sunday Rafale fighter planes struck bases used by Al-Qaeda-linked fighters in Gao, the main city in northern Mali.
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