Posted: Feb 2, 2013 2:37 AM
Updated: Feb 2, 2013 2:39 AM
TIMBUKTU, Mali (AP) French President Francois Hollande has landed in the fabled Malian town of Timbuktu.
The French leader is making a triumphant stop in the town, which French forces liberated six days ago from the al-Qaida-linked extremists who seized northern Mali last year.
Capt. Sarah, a spokeswoman with the French forces who gave only her first name in keeping with military protocol, confirmed that Hollande had landed Saturday morning.
He was headed to the city's grand mosque where turbaned dignitaries were waiting for him.
Around 800 French forces took part in the effort to free Timbuktu, including hundreds of paratroopers who parachuted onto nearby dunes.
France launched the military offense three weeks ago in its former colony. Despite the initial successes, some fear what will happen once the French leave.