French troops tracking Islamists in Mali
Islamist rebels have attacked Gao in northern Mali, officials say.
The rebels were repelled after two hours of fierce fighting, a Malian army official said.
He said the insurgents had slipped past army checkpoints to enter the town. Gao residents had raised the alarm, saying rebels had entered their neighbourhood.
Thomas Fessy is embedded with the French army on operations in a mountainous desert bordering Algeria.