A reconnaissance team reached the edge of Timbuktu, and French and Malian soldiers were approaching the city "without meeting any resistance."
"French and Malian troops have retaken the airport, very soon we will move into Timbuktu and continue retaking the north of the country," Malian Captain Konaté said.
The advance came a day after French and Malian soldiers seized the town of Gao, east of Timbuktu, the biggest victory so far in their operation against the militants, who have controlled the north for 10 months.
The French defence ministry said in a statement that it had carried out about 20 air strikes Saturday and Sunday in the Gao and Timbuktu regions.
Source: Tunis Afrique Presse