Gao, in Mali is considered as the hideout of the Islamist sect in the desert region located at the northern part of Mali, it was today bombed by the French troupe, not deterred by the delays of the west African peace mission, the French fighter who touched down yesterday in Mali with Jet fighters to end Islamic terrorism , jets pounded the Islamist rebel stronghold in northern Mali on Today 12th as Paris poured more troops into the capital Bamako, while waiting the West African force to dislodge al Qaeda-linked insurgents from the country's north.
Reports says France is determined to end Islamist domination of northertn Mali by the Islamist, which many fear could act as a base for attacks on the West and for links with al Qaeda in Yemen, Somalia and North Africa.
Under cover from French fighter planes and attack helicopters, Malian troops routed a rebel convoy and drove the Islamists out of the strategic central town of Konna, which they had seized on Thursday. A senior army officer in the capital Bamako said more than 100 rebel fighters had been killed.
A French pilot died on Friday when rebels shot down his helicopter near the town of Mopti. Hours after opening one front against al Qaeda-linked Islamists, France mounted a commando raid to try to rescue a French hostage held by al Shabaab militants in Somalia, also allied to al Qaeda, but failed to prevent the hostage being killed.
French President Francois Hollande made clear that France's aim in Mali was to support the West African troop deployment, which is also endorsed by the United Nations, the European Union and the United States.
France's Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said French intervention on Friday had prevented rebels driving southward to seize Bamako itself. He said air raids would continue in the coming days.
"The president is totally determined that we must eradicate these terrorists who threaten the security of Mali, our own country and Europe," he told French television.
In Gao, a dusty town on the banks of the Niger river where Islamists have imposed an extreme form of Sharia law, residents said French fighters and attack helicopters pounded the airport and rebel positions. A huge cloud of black smoke rose from the militants' camp in the north of the city.
"The planes are so fast you can only hear their sound in the sky," resident Soumaila Maiga said by telephone. "We are happy, even though it is frightening. Soon we will be delivered."