Fighting returns to streets of northern town of Gao


Government troops fought gun battles with Islamist insurgents in the streets of the northern town of Gao today, highlighting fragile security in zones recently recaptured by a French-led military offensive.

Gunfire resounded through the sandy streets and mud-coloured houses of the ancient town on the Niger River, just hours after French and Malian forces reinforced a checkpoint that was attacked for the second time in two days by a suicide bomber.

“Islamists who have infiltrated the town are trying to attack our positions. But we’re fighting back,” a Malian army officer said.