Malian forces are patrolling Diabaly on Tuesday, a day after French and Malian forces retook the central town that had been overrun by Islamist militants.

Residents say militants either have fled or are attempting to blend in with civilians in Diabaly, located about 400 kilometers north of the capital, Bamako.

Meanwhile, VOA correspondent Idrissa Fall, who is in Mali, reported that calm also is returning to Douentza, a town seized by militants in September.