Mali

Mali Militants Continue Advance South

Despite French air strikes

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Rebels have grabbed more territory in Mali, inching closer to the capital despite intensive aerial bombardments by French warplanes, French and Malian authorities have said.

The al-Qaeda-linked rebels overran the garrison village of Diabaly in central Mali, France's defence minister said in Paris on Monday.

Jean-Yves Le Drian said the rebels "took Diabaly after fierce fighting and resistance from the Malian army that couldn't hold them back"'.

The Malian military is in disarray and has let many towns fall with barely a shot fired since the insurgency began almost a year ago in the northwest African nation.