REPORTER: France is not backing down deploying more troops in Mali. . Despite threats from militants to attack French interests globally, France now has 1,800 troops on the ground in Mali. The first apparent retaliatory attack, came earlier in the week when al Qaeda-linked militants took dozens of foreigners hostage in Algeria, blaming Algerian cooperation with France France has pledged to keep troops on the ground until stability returns. For many, the French troops are a welcome sight. There are unconfirmed reports that one town has already been recaptured from the rebels. France ordered the intervention in Mali saying Islamists could turn the northern part of the country into a "terrorist state."
KOURA COULIBALY, SARAKALA HEALTH CENTRE NURSE: "At the beginning we were afraid. But now where we are today, thank God these soldiers are here, all around us."
REPORTER: A total of 2,500 French troops are expected in Mali but Paris is keen to swiftly hand the mission over to West African forces following a U.N. mandate to help Mali recapture its north.