Discuss as:

Malian students head back to school after Islamist rebels expelled from Gao

Sia Kambou / AFP - Getty Images

A student writes on the blackboard in a classroom in Gao, Mali, on the first day schools reopened after the French bombing of Islamist targets, on Feb. 4. Schools reopened today in Gao after the town was taken on Jan. 26 by French and Malian forces from Islamists who had been occupying it for the last year.

Students returned to their classrooms in Gao on Monday, after French and Malian troops forced Islamist rebels from the Malian town. According to Agence France-Presse,

 

Classes stopped after the Islamists launched an offensive against southern Mali on Jan. 10 after occupying the north, prompting rapid French intervention alongside Mali’s troops. Gao was taken back from the armed Islamists on Jan. 26.

The primary school was short on equipment Monday. For the lack of available classroom space, some pupils were receiving their lessons on the bare concrete floor. Cisse said that the armed groups had taken away the desks for firewood. Continue reading.

Sia Kambou / AFP - Getty Images

Students attend a class in Gao on the first day schools reopened, on Feb. 4.

Sia Kambou / AFP - Getty Images

Students work in a classroom in Gao on the first day schools reopened on Feb. 4.

Sia Kambou / AFP - Getty Images

A teacher checks students' chalk boards in a classroom on the first day schools reopened on Feb. 4, in Gao, Mali. The majority of the school's tables and benches were taken by Islamists.

Previously on PhotoBlog: