The Malian soldiers supported by the French and Nigerien forces have since Sunday afternoon been engaged in combating against the armed groups in the country's North-East town of Gao, sources have said.

It will be recalled that before the armed intervention by the Malian forces, with support from the French and African troops in early January, the town of Gao was occupied by the fighters of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), who were later driven out of the town.