French fighter jets have attacked two rebel-held positions in the Central African Republic, as the government there tries to re-assert control in the country's north.
In Paris, French military spokesman, Christophe Prazuck says French Mirage jets fired on rebels in the towns of Ouadda and Ndele Thursday.
He said the French planes intervened at the request of CAR officials. The spokesman said CAR government forces had encountered heavy rebel resistance in the two towns, and had suffered casualties.
The CAR government recently asked for and received Paris's help in fighting the rebels, who have seized control over several northern towns. France is the CAR's ally and former colonial power.
Government troops recaptured the town of Birao earlier this week, a month after it came under rebel control.
The rebels have demanded talks with the government, which they say has neglected their region and favored some ethnic groups over others.
Officials in the government of President Francois Bozize accuse neighboring Sudan of supporting the rebels - a charge Sudan has denied.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.