The city of Diabali, in central Mali, which was attacked on Monday by armed islamist groups, is still under the control of the rebels, the Malian News Agency (AMAP) told PANA on Thursday.
The jihadists sabotaged all the communication infrastructure of the locality on Thursday and effectively cut it off from the rest of the country.
A few people who managed to leave the city on foot or motorcycle confirmed the presence of islamist groups within the city, who have melted into the population which is going through hardships.
Residents of Niono, a city located some 60 kilometres from Dibali and some 340 km from Bamako, are also suffering from rebel activity.
Some farmers were even prevented from going to the field in a mainly agricultural zone while the jihadists took away the engines of motocycles.
According to a Malian who reached in Niono on foot, French air strikes on Monday night destroyed nine vehicles of jihadists and killed many of them.
-0– PANA GT/IBA/PAP/MA 17Jan2013