French warplanes continued to bomb Mali yesterday as French ground forces entered the country to protect the military junta of Captain Amadou Haya Sanogo from Islamist-led insurgents based in northern Mali.
On Tuesday morning, French warplanes bombed Diabaly in central Mali, which the insurgents had seized on Monday. Five people were confirmed killed in the town, which the opposition still reportedly held yesterday evening. Diabaly is only 400 kilometers north of the capital, Bamako, and roughly 150 kilometers from Ségou.
The insurgents’ capture of Diabaly shocked Malian military officials. One commander in nearby Niono, who had predicted with confidence that the rebels would not seize Diabaly, told the Associated Press that he feared the Diabaly garrison had been massacred, adding: “We feel truly threatened.”
Reports suggest that the Malian army is continuing to collapse. French citizens were evacuated from Ségou, Mali’s fifth largest city with 130,000 inhabitants, amid reports that the rebels were beginning to send groups of fighters there. ...