Mali campaign: French jets hit rebel bases near Kidal

French warplanes have bombed rebel bases and depots in remote parts of northern Mali to try to cut off supply routes, France’s foreign minister says.Laurent Fabius told France Inter radio that the rebels would not be able to stay long without fresh supplies. Thirty jets struck on Sunday around Tessalit amid fears the rebels could re-group in the mountainous region.Aid workers say food and fuel prices in northern Mali are rising as some traders flee, fearing reprisals.Mr Fabius said that Sunday’s air strikes were aimed at “destroying the bases and fuel depots” of the rebels. He said: “If you look at the map, they have taken refuge in the north and in the north-east. But they can stay there for long only if they have ways to get supplies. So, in a very efficient manner, the army is stopping that.”But Mr Fabius would not say whether the air strikes were aimed at preparing for a new ground assault.The French launched their military intervention in Mali on 11 January as Islamist militants moved south and threatened the capital, Bamako. Since then, the militants have been driven from population centres in the north and east.

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