Islamist rebels have taken over Diabaly in Mali. French troops have arrived to help Malian troops drive out the extremists. (Google Images)

The BBC is reporting that Islamist fighters in Mali have seized a town in government-controlled territory amid a military intervention by France.

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Diabaly, 400km (250 miles) from the capital, Bamako, was taken in a counter-attack on Monday.

Mr. Le Drian insisted France’s campaign was “developing favourably”.

He said Islamists had retreated in the east but admitted French forces were facing a “difficult” situation against well-armed rebels in western areas.

Aid workers said many people had been fleeing areas targeted by the French. The U.N. Security Council is meeting to discuss Mali as France’s intervention intensifies.

CBS News is reporting French forces led an all-night bombing campaign over a minuscule Malian town, not even big enough to appear on most administrative maps, in an effort to dislodge the Islamic extremists who seized the area, including its strategic military camp.

Meanwhile, a convoy of 40 to 50 armed trucks carrying French troops crossed into Mali from Ivory Coast, where they were stationed, as France prepares for a possible land assault.

Read more at BBC or CBS.

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