URGENT ¥¥¥ French president arrives in Mali: AFP

French President Francois Hollande arrived in Mali on Saturday for a one-day visit following the French-led offensive to drive radical Islamists from the north of the country, an AFP journalist said.

Hollande flew into the central town of Sevare accompanied by his foreign, defence and development ministers and was later due to visit the desert city of Timbuktu as well as the capital Bamako.