French military officials say Mali’s Central town of Konna is not recaptured by government forces .It was the rebel capture of the strategically important town of Konna last Thursday that prompted France’s military intervention,BBC reports
French warplanes began air strikes against Islamist fighters the next day, and by Saturday a Malian military official said the army had brought Konna back under control, and 100 rebel fighters had been killed.
However , French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters in Paris on Tuesday that the town was not in government hands.
The French aerial campaign had managed to block the rebels who had moved back to an area between Douentza and Gao.
But, he said, “at this time, the town of Konna has still not been recaptured by the Malian armed forces”.
A series of air attacks by French helicopters and fighter planes reportedly sent the rebels fleeing from two of the main northern towns, Gao and Timbuktu. But gunfire was heard outside Timbuktu, a Unesco world heritage site, on Tuesday.
And the Islamists have hit back, seizing the central town of Diabaly on Monday, 350km (220 miles) north-east of the capital, Bamako.
228,918 internally displaced in Mali itself
Currently over 5,000 people have fled fighting in Konna.Until this month, at least 144,500 Malian refugees had already been registered in neighbouring countries since April 2012.