French-led troops in Mali have seized control of the airport in Timbuktu from Islamist militants and are fighting their way into the city center, a spokesman for the Malian military said Monday. Malian and French soldiers scored a key victory last week, taking control of Gao, a city east of Timbuktu that for months had been a militant stronghold... The Islamists were reported to be fleeing Timbuktu to the city of Kidal, more than 500 kilometers (300 miles) to the northeast. (Emphasis added)The French Defense Ministry reports (via TF1 News):
Italy sends troops to conflict in Mali Reinforcement forces arrive, via Senegal. A boatload of French assault carrier helicopters arrived this morning in the port of Dakar, landing hundreds of men, vehicles and equipment for the operation Serval.