Al-Qaeda's North African branch has established a haven in western Libya after they were driven out of northern Mali a year ago.
Several people have been killed in separate suicide bomb attacks in Niger that showed the fight against militants was spreading across West Africa.
Kidnappers who seized seven members of a French family, including four young children, in Cameroon have taken them across the border into Nigeria.
For African leaders who criticised French intervention in Cote d'Ivoire and Libya not too long ago, France's advance in Mali must seem a nightmare.
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb says it carried out a twin suicide attack on an Algerian military academy that killed 18 people.