French and Chadian troops search for terrorist groups who melt into the landscape and launch suicide attacks in the towns. Initial plans for France's rapid return home have been revised.
The terrorist attack and hostage-taking in neighboring Algeria is just one of the ways that France's intervention in Mali could spread across Africa, and beyond.
France's just launched military intervention in Mali has earned the old colonial power praise from those fearing Islamist extremists. The fight, however, has only just begun.