French troops have captured Kidal, a town in northern Mali. The town is the last main stronghold of Islamist rebels in the region and ends the first phase of the French intervention. Now the French hope the deployment of thousands of African forces will support them in the second phase - driving out fighters from their desert hideouts. It is believed Islamist rebels have disappeared into communities and remote areas and remain a threat. Britain will send 250 soldiers to the region to train a West African force. The French offensive started January 10.