Aid groups warn they can't reach key Mali town of Konna, where Islamists advanced 1 week ago

A Malian soldier stands guard in front of a strategic bridge in Markala, approximately 40 km outside Segou on the road to Diabaly, in central Mali, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013. Fighting raged in one Mali town, airstrikes hit another and army troops raced to protect a third, on Thursday, the seventh day of the French-led military intervention to wrest back Mali's north from al Qaida-linked groups. (AP Photo/Harouna Traore)

BAMAKO, Mali - Aid officials are warning about a lack of access to a Malian town that has been the scene of fierce fighting for a week between Islamist militants and French forces.

Doctors Without Borders says it's been trying to get to Konna since Monday but all roads leading to the community have been closed by the Malian military.

Malik Allaouna, director of operations, says it's essential that the organization be able to provide medical help.

The Malian military said Thursday that it had control of Konna, where Islamists first attacked a week ago. However, the claim could not immediately be confirmed and the town's fate remained unclear Friday.

The advance on Konna prompted French forces to intervene in Mali, where the Islamists had seized control of the north nine months ago.


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