French troops are seen in Gao, northern Mali days after Malian and French military forces closed in and retook the town from Islamist rebels.

Paris - French forces leading an offensive against Islamist fighters in northern Mali have entered the rebel stronghold of Kidal, the French army said on Wednesday.

“French elements were deployed overnight in Kidal,” French army spokesman Thierry Burkhard said after French-led forces captured the other main northern cities of Gao and Timbuktu. He declined to provide detail. - Sapa-AFP