Stepped up security in Gao after attack by Islamic extremist rebels

Soldiers from Niger are patrolling on foot through downtown Gao and Malian troops are driving around in pickup trucks to secure the city in northern Mali.

The stepped-up security presence remains two days after radical Islamic fighters attacked the center of Gao and fought a five-hour gun battle with the Malian army.

On Tuesday soldiers concentrated around the waterfront area along the Niger River where the fighters invaded the city by boat.

Gao was controlled by the Islamic militants for 10 months until a French-led military intervention dislodged them at the end of January.