Fierce fighting rages in Mali

Associated Press
This Sunday Jan.13, 2013 photo provided by the French Army Monday Jan.14, 2013 shows a  French Rafale jetfighter landing after a mission to Mali in N'Djamena, Chad. French fighter jets bombed rebel targets in a major city in Mali's north Sunday, pounding the airport as well as training camps, warehouses and buildings used by the al-Qaida-linked Islamists controlling the area, officials and residents said. (AP Photo/Adj Nicolas-Nelson Richard, ECPAD)

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French and Malian troops fought Islamists on the streets of Gao and a car bomb exploded in Kidal on Feb. 21, as fighting showed little sign of abating weeks before France plans to start withdrawing some forces.

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