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French lead all-night bombing campaign in central Malian town of Diabaly

  • 0012e111b4629901260f6a706700b3dc.jpg

    A French airman, center, talks to British military personnel prior to the take off a British C17 transport plane enroute to Mali at the French army base in Evreux, 90 kms(56 mls)north of Paris, Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. British military equipment was readied for deployment in Mali on Monday as international intervention in the country increased following advances in the north by Islamic extremists with reported links to Al-Qaida. Two C-17 transport planes have arrived at the French military airbase at Evreux, bound for Mali. Two C-17 transport planes have arrived at the French military airbase at Evreux, bound for Mali. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) (The Associated Press)

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    A British C17 transport plane lands next to a Russian Antonov which was hired by the French army to transport equipment to Mali, at the army base in Evreux, 90 kms(56 mls)north of Paris, Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. British military equipment was readied for deployment in Mali on Monday as international intervention in the country increased following advances in the north by Islamic extremists with reported links to Al-Qaida. Two C-17 transport planes have arrived at the French military airbase at Evreux, bound for Mali. Two C-17 transport planes have arrived at the French military airbase at Evreux, bound for Mali. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) (The Associated Press)

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    British military personnel walk in front of a French army medical armoured personnel carrier inside a British C17 transport plane at army base in Evreux, 90 kms(56 mls)north of Paris, Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. British military equipment was readied for deployment in Mali on Monday as international intervention in the country increased following advances in the north by Islamic extremists with reported links to Al-Qaida. Two C-17 transport planes have arrived at the French military airbase at Evreux, bound for Mali. Two C-17 transport planes have arrived at the French military airbase at Evreux, bound for Mali. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) (The Associated Press)

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    British military personnel protect their ears as a British C17 transport plane lands at the French army base, in Evreux, 90 kms(56 mls)north of Paris, Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. British military equipment was readied for deployment in Mali on Monday as international intervention in the country increased following advances in the north by Islamic extremists with reported links to Al-Qaida. Two C-17 transport planes have arrived at the French military airbase at Evreux, bound for Mali. Two C-17 transport planes have arrived at the French military airbase at Evreux, bound for Mali. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) (The Associated Press)

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    Map provides an update of events in Mali (The Associated Press)

Residents of the besieged town of Diabaly say they are cowering inside their homes, after an all-night bombing campaign by French special forces, aimed at dislodging the Islamic extremists who seized the town on Monday.

On Tuesday morning, Ibrahim Toure told The Associated Press by telephone that he heard explosions throughout the night, coming from the direction of Diabaly's military camp.

A commander of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, one of the extremist groups controlling northern Mali, taunted the French. He said that his fighters control Diabaly, as well as Konna, the first town bombed by the French last week. He told AP: "I would advise France not to sing their victory song too quickly. They managed to leave Afghanistan. They will never leave Mali."