Residents say that radical Islamists have now fled a key Malian town that had been under their control for nearly a week.
The Islamists who rule northern Mali had descended upon the city of Diabaly on Monday but fled the city Saturday after several days of airstrikes by the French military.
Diabaly residents who had fled to the neighboring town of Niono said the Islamists had left the community.
Malian military spokesman Capt. Modibo Traore said soldiers were attempting to secure the area and that an operation in the area was ongoing.
The departure of the Islamists from Diabaly marks a success for the French-led military intervention to stop the militants from advancing further south.