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Pictures | Tue Jan 29, 2013 | 4:30pm GMT

French intervention in Mali

<p>A Malian soldier holds an AK-47 in his lap at a military checkpoint in Diabaly January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A Malian soldier holds an AK-47 in his lap at a military checkpoint in Diabaly January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A Malian soldier holds an AK-47 in his lap at a military checkpoint in Diabaly January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Farmer Djeneba Diarra jumps over a ditch on a bean farm in Heremakono, Mali January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Farmer Djeneba Diarra jumps over a ditch on a bean farm in Heremakono, Mali January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Farmer Djeneba Diarra jumps over a ditch on a bean farm in Heremakono, Mali January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>An English-language manual for installing laser sight on gun, believed to belong to Islamist rebels, lies in the courtyard of local resident Issa Dembele's house in Diabaly January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

An English-language manual for installing laser sight on gun, believed to belong to Islamist rebels, lies in the courtyard of local resident Issa Dembele's house in Diabaly January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

An English-language manual for installing laser sight on gun, believed to belong to Islamist rebels, lies in the courtyard of local resident Issa Dembele's house in Diabaly January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Malian soldier Ousmane Cisse stands guard on an open road outside Sevare, Mali, January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Malian soldier Ousmane Cisse stands guard on an open road outside Sevare, Mali, January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldier Ousmane Cisse stands guard on an open road outside Sevare, Mali, January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Abandoned uniforms are seen strewn across the ground at the prefecture of the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013.     REUTERS/Eric Gaillard</p>

Abandoned uniforms are seen strewn across the ground at the prefecture of the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Abandoned uniforms are seen strewn across the ground at the prefecture of the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

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<p>A man prays in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 28, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A man prays in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 28, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A man prays in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 28, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Malian soldiers stand guard in a Malian army pickup truck mounted with a machine gun in Diabaly January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Malian soldiers stand guard in a Malian army pickup truck mounted with a machine gun in Diabaly January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers stand guard in a Malian army pickup truck mounted with a machine gun in Diabaly January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A Malian soldier dries military uniforms in the recently liberated town of Diabaly January 24, 2013.    REUTERS/Eric Gaillard</p>

A Malian soldier dries military uniforms in the recently liberated town of Diabaly January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A Malian soldier dries military uniforms in the recently liberated town of Diabaly January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

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<p>Munitions believed to belong to Islamist rebels are stockpiled in the courtyard of local resident Issa Dembele's house in Diabaly January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Munitions believed to belong to Islamist rebels are stockpiled in the courtyard of local resident Issa Dembele's house in Diabaly January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Munitions believed to belong to Islamist rebels are stockpiled in the courtyard of local resident Issa Dembele's house in Diabaly January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A Malian soldier stands near a wall with bullet holes in the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013.     REUTERS/Eric Gaillard</p>

A Malian soldier stands near a wall with bullet holes in the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A Malian soldier stands near a wall with bullet holes in the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

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<p>A Malian soldier wounded at the frontline receives medical treatment at a military clinic in Kati January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Malin Palm</p>

A Malian soldier wounded at the frontline receives medical treatment at a military clinic in Kati January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Malin Palm

A Malian soldier wounded at the frontline receives medical treatment at a military clinic in Kati January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Malin Palm

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<p>A French armored vehicle drives towards the recently liberated town of Diabaly, in Segou January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A French armored vehicle drives towards the recently liberated town of Diabaly, in Segou January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A French armored vehicle drives towards the recently liberated town of Diabaly, in Segou January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A Malian soldier walks past a destroyed vehicle, which according to Malian soldiers, belonged to Islamist rebels in the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013.     REUTERS/Eric Gaillard</p>

A Malian soldier walks past a destroyed vehicle, which according to Malian soldiers, belonged to Islamist rebels in the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A Malian soldier walks past a destroyed vehicle, which according to Malian soldiers, belonged to Islamist rebels in the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

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<p>A boy waits to order snacks in a convenience store next to the central market in Diabaly January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A boy waits to order snacks in a convenience store next to the central market in Diabaly January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A boy waits to order snacks in a convenience store next to the central market in Diabaly January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>French soldiers prepare the security zone of the Bamako airport January 23, 2013.  REUTERS/Malin Palm</p>

French soldiers prepare the security zone of the Bamako airport January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Malin Palm

French soldiers prepare the security zone of the Bamako airport January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Malin Palm

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<p>The bodies of suspected Islamist rebels, according to UN director of Human Rights Watch, Philippe Bolopion, are seen at the bottom of a well after they were dumped there, in Sevare January 28, 2013.  REUTERS/Eric Gaillard</p>

The bodies of suspected Islamist rebels, according to UN director of Human Rights Watch, Philippe Bolopion, are seen at the bottom of a well after they were dumped there, in Sevare January 28, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

The bodies of suspected Islamist rebels, according to UN director of Human Rights Watch, Philippe Bolopion, are seen at the bottom of a well after they were dumped there, in Sevare January 28, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

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<p>A French military helicopter flies over cattle outside Markala, Mali, January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A French military helicopter flies over cattle outside Markala, Mali, January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A French military helicopter flies over cattle outside Markala, Mali, January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Malian soldiers carry a box of ammunition after searching through debris at a Malian military camp in Diabaly, Mali, January 21 2013. French airstrikes hit the camp a week ago after it was taken over by al Qaeda-linked rebels. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Malian soldiers carry a box of ammunition after searching through debris at a Malian military camp in Diabaly, Mali, January 21 2013. French airstrikes hit the camp a week ago after it was taken over by al Qaeda-linked rebels. REUTERS/Joe Penney more

Malian soldiers carry a box of ammunition after searching through debris at a Malian military camp in Diabaly, Mali, January 21 2013. French airstrikes hit the camp a week ago after it was taken over by al Qaeda-linked rebels. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A charred body believed to be an Islamist rebel burnt by inhabitants of Konna, according to local residents, is seen in the recently liberated town of Konna January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard</p>

A charred body believed to be an Islamist rebel burnt by inhabitants of Konna, according to local residents, is seen in the recently liberated town of Konna January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A charred body believed to be an Islamist rebel burnt by inhabitants of Konna, according to local residents, is seen in the recently liberated town of Konna January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

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<p>Dembele, a day laborer, lights a cigarette at a sugar cane plantation in Siribala, Mali, January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Dembele, a day laborer, lights a cigarette at a sugar cane plantation in Siribala, Mali, January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Dembele, a day laborer, lights a cigarette at a sugar cane plantation in Siribala, Mali, January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Imam Bilal Cisse poses for a picture in a convenience store next to the central market in Diabaly January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Imam Bilal Cisse poses for a picture in a convenience store next to the central market in Diabaly January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Imam Bilal Cisse poses for a picture in a convenience store next to the central market in Diabaly January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Young boys stand near vehicles, believed to belong to Islamist rebels and destroyed during French air strikes, in the recently liberated town of Diabaly January 24, 2013.    REUTERS/Eric Gaillard</p>

Young boys stand near vehicles, believed to belong to Islamist rebels and destroyed during French air strikes, in the recently liberated town of Diabaly January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Young boys stand near vehicles, believed to belong to Islamist rebels and destroyed during French air strikes, in the recently liberated town of Diabaly January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

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<p>Munitions, believed to belong to Islamist rebels, are stockpiled in the courtyard of local resident Issa Dembele's house in Diabaly January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Munitions, believed to belong to Islamist rebels, are stockpiled in the courtyard of local resident Issa Dembele's house in Diabaly January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Munitions, believed to belong to Islamist rebels, are stockpiled in the courtyard of local resident Issa Dembele's house in Diabaly January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Hotel worker Abderrahmane Toure poses for a picture next to a sign for radical Islamist group Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) in Douentza January 28, 2013. The sign reads, "There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his prophet." REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Hotel worker Abderrahmane Toure poses for a picture next to a sign for radical Islamist group Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) in Douentza January 28, 2013. The sign reads, "There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his prophet."...more

Hotel worker Abderrahmane Toure poses for a picture next to a sign for radical Islamist group Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) in Douentza January 28, 2013. The sign reads, "There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his prophet." REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Malian soldiers relax in the recently liberated town of Diabaly January 24, 2013.    REUTERS/Eric Gaillard</p>

Malian soldiers relax in the recently liberated town of Diabaly January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Malian soldiers relax in the recently liberated town of Diabaly January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

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<p>Women wash clothes and laundry on the bed of a canal in Diabaly January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Women wash clothes and laundry on the bed of a canal in Diabaly January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Women wash clothes and laundry on the bed of a canal in Diabaly January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A woman is seen through a bullet hole of a vehicle, believed to belong to Islamist rebels and destroyed during French air strikes, in the recently liberated town of Diabaly January 24, 2013.    REUTERS/Eric Gaillard</p>

A woman is seen through a bullet hole of a vehicle, believed to belong to Islamist rebels and destroyed during French air strikes, in the recently liberated town of Diabaly January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A woman is seen through a bullet hole of a vehicle, believed to belong to Islamist rebels and destroyed during French air strikes, in the recently liberated town of Diabaly January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

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<p>A boy and a group of women stand near a vehicle, believed to belong to Islamist rebels and destroyed during French air strikes, in the recently liberated town of Diabaly January 24, 2013.    REUTERS/Eric Gaillard</p>

A boy and a group of women stand near a vehicle, believed to belong to Islamist rebels and destroyed during French air strikes, in the recently liberated town of Diabaly January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A boy and a group of women stand near a vehicle, believed to belong to Islamist rebels and destroyed during French air strikes, in the recently liberated town of Diabaly January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

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<p>French soldiers stand on a tank in Niono, January 20, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

French soldiers stand on a tank in Niono, January 20, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

French soldiers stand on a tank in Niono, January 20, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A charred pickup truck destroyed by French airstrikes is seen in Diabaly, Mali, January 21, 2013. The pickup truck, according to local villagers, belonged to al Qaeda-linked rebels and were hit on January 16. 
REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A charred pickup truck destroyed by French airstrikes is seen in Diabaly, Mali, January 21, 2013. The pickup truck, according to local villagers, belonged to al Qaeda-linked rebels and were hit on January 16. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A charred pickup truck destroyed by French airstrikes is seen in Diabaly, Mali, January 21, 2013. The pickup truck, according to local villagers, belonged to al Qaeda-linked rebels and were hit on January 16. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A Malian soldier points his gun at an oncoming vehicle, prompting the driver to slow down, at a checkpoint in Diabaly, Mali, January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A Malian soldier points his gun at an oncoming vehicle, prompting the driver to slow down, at a checkpoint in Diabaly, Mali, January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A Malian soldier points his gun at an oncoming vehicle, prompting the driver to slow down, at a checkpoint in Diabaly, Mali, January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A hand grenade and several gun butts believed to belong to Islamist rebels are stockpiled in the courtyard of local resident Issa Dembele's house in Diabaly January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A hand grenade and several gun butts believed to belong to Islamist rebels are stockpiled in the courtyard of local resident Issa Dembele's house in Diabaly January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A hand grenade and several gun butts believed to belong to Islamist rebels are stockpiled in the courtyard of local resident Issa Dembele's house in Diabaly January 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A Malian soldier holds papers next to a wall pockmarked with bullet holes after searching through debris at a Malian military camp in Diabaly, Mali, January 21, 2013. French airstrikes hit the camp a week ago after it was taken over by al Qaeda-linked rebels. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A Malian soldier holds papers next to a wall pockmarked with bullet holes after searching through debris at a Malian military camp in Diabaly, Mali, January 21, 2013. French airstrikes hit the camp a week ago after it was taken over by al...more

A Malian soldier holds papers next to a wall pockmarked with bullet holes after searching through debris at a Malian military camp in Diabaly, Mali, January 21, 2013. French airstrikes hit the camp a week ago after it was taken over by al Qaeda-linked rebels. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>French soldiers take up positions outside Markala, January 19, 2013.  REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

French soldiers take up positions outside Markala, January 19, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

French soldiers take up positions outside Markala, January 19, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A child peers into a commercial van waiting at a military checkpoint in Niono, January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A child peers into a commercial van waiting at a military checkpoint in Niono, January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A child peers into a commercial van waiting at a military checkpoint in Niono, January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A French soldier peers into the barrel of a tank at a Malian air base in Bamako, January 15 2013.  REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A French soldier peers into the barrel of a tank at a Malian air base in Bamako, January 15 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A French soldier peers into the barrel of a tank at a Malian air base in Bamako, January 15 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>The remains of an armoured vehicle used by al Qaeda-affiliated militants that was hit by French airstrikes are pictured in Konna, Mali, January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

The remains of an armoured vehicle used by al Qaeda-affiliated militants that was hit by French airstrikes are pictured in Konna, Mali, January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

The remains of an armoured vehicle used by al Qaeda-affiliated militants that was hit by French airstrikes are pictured in Konna, Mali, January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A French soldier sends a text message in front of a restaurant in Niono, January 20, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A French soldier sends a text message in front of a restaurant in Niono, January 20, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A French soldier sends a text message in front of a restaurant in Niono, January 20, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A corpse, believed to be an al Qaeda-linked Islamist rebel, decomposes next to a river bank in Diabaly, January 21, 2013. 
REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A corpse, believed to be an al Qaeda-linked Islamist rebel, decomposes next to a river bank in Diabaly, January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A corpse, believed to be an al Qaeda-linked Islamist rebel, decomposes next to a river bank in Diabaly, January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Coumba Bah lies on a hospital bed in Niono, January 19, 2013. The 12-year-old was hit in the knees by stray bullets during the fighting between the Malian army and Islamists in Diabaly. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Coumba Bah lies on a hospital bed in Niono, January 19, 2013. The 12-year-old was hit in the knees by stray bullets during the fighting between the Malian army and Islamists in Diabaly. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Coumba Bah lies on a hospital bed in Niono, January 19, 2013. The 12-year-old was hit in the knees by stray bullets during the fighting between the Malian army and Islamists in Diabaly. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Ordnance used by al Qaeda-linked militants is pictured on the ground in Konna, Mali, January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Ordnance used by al Qaeda-linked militants is pictured on the ground in Konna, Mali, January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Ordnance used by al Qaeda-linked militants is pictured on the ground in Konna, Mali, January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Farmer Gaoussou Traore, 32, poses for a picture in front of his house in Niono, January 21, 2013. 
REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Farmer Gaoussou Traore, 32, poses for a picture in front of his house in Niono, January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Farmer Gaoussou Traore, 32, poses for a picture in front of his house in Niono, January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A French soldier lies on the ground during training for emergency first aid at the Malian army air base in Bamako January 14, 2013.  REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A French soldier lies on the ground during training for emergency first aid at the Malian army air base in Bamako January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A French soldier lies on the ground during training for emergency first aid at the Malian army air base in Bamako January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Malian soldiers walk past a destroyed vehicle, which according to Malian soldiers, belonged to Islamist rebels at the prefecture of the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013.     REUTERS/Eric Gaillard</p>

Malian soldiers walk past a destroyed vehicle, which according to Malian soldiers, belonged to Islamist rebels at the prefecture of the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Malian soldiers walk past a destroyed vehicle, which according to Malian soldiers, belonged to Islamist rebels at the prefecture of the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

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<p>Villagers wave to the French military as they pass the town of Konobougou, Mali, January 17, 2013. 

REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Villagers wave to the French military as they pass the town of Konobougou, Mali, January 17, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Villagers wave to the French military as they pass the town of Konobougou, Mali, January 17, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A French woman soldier relaxes at the Mali air force base near Bamako as troops await their deployment, January 18, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard</p>

A French woman soldier relaxes at the Mali air force base near Bamako as troops await their deployment, January 18, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A French woman soldier relaxes at the Mali air force base near Bamako as troops await their deployment, January 18, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

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<p>A Malian soldier checks two civilians riding on a motorcycle in the recently liberated town of Diabaly January 24, 2013.    REUTERS/Eric Gaillard</p>

A Malian soldier checks two civilians riding on a motorcycle in the recently liberated town of Diabaly January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A Malian soldier checks two civilians riding on a motorcycle in the recently liberated town of Diabaly January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

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<p>French troops drive to Segou, January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Francois Rihouay</p>

French troops drive to Segou, January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Francois Rihouay

French troops drive to Segou, January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Francois Rihouay

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<p>Yacouba Konate, 56, wears a French flag to show his support for the French military intervention in Mali in the Malian capital of Bamako, January 13, 2013. 

REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Yacouba Konate, 56, wears a French flag to show his support for the French military intervention in Mali in the Malian capital of Bamako, January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Yacouba Konate, 56, wears a French flag to show his support for the French military intervention in Mali in the Malian capital of Bamako, January 13, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A Malian soldier smokes a cigarette in Niono, January 19, 2013. 
REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A Malian soldier smokes a cigarette in Niono, January 19, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A Malian soldier smokes a cigarette in Niono, January 19, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A member of the Royal Air Force Regiment flight crew guides a French armoured personnel carriers as it is driven off a C17 aircraft in Bamako, Mali, January 15, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Winning</p>

A member of the Royal Air Force Regiment flight crew guides a French armoured personnel carriers as it is driven off a C17 aircraft in Bamako, Mali, January 15, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

A member of the Royal Air Force Regiment flight crew guides a French armoured personnel carriers as it is driven off a C17 aircraft in Bamako, Mali, January 15, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

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<p>French soldiers perform emergency first aid training in a hangar at the Malian army air base in Bamako, January 14, 2013. 
REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

French soldiers perform emergency first aid training in a hangar at the Malian army air base in Bamako, January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

French soldiers perform emergency first aid training in a hangar at the Malian army air base in Bamako, January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A French army officer talks to his Malian counterpart outside where a meeting is taking place for the intervention force provided by the ECOWAS grouping of West African states, in Bamako, January 15, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A French army officer talks to his Malian counterpart outside where a meeting is taking place for the intervention force provided by the ECOWAS grouping of West African states, in Bamako, January 15, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A French army officer talks to his Malian counterpart outside where a meeting is taking place for the intervention force provided by the ECOWAS grouping of West African states, in Bamako, January 15, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A French soldier stands guard in front of charred pickup trucks used by Islamist rebels in Diabaly, January 21, 2013. 
REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A French soldier stands guard in front of charred pickup trucks used by Islamist rebels in Diabaly, January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A French soldier stands guard in front of charred pickup trucks used by Islamist rebels in Diabaly, January 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A French soldiers lies on his mattress in a hangar at the Malian army air base in Bamako, January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A French soldiers lies on his mattress in a hangar at the Malian army air base in Bamako, January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A French soldiers lies on his mattress in a hangar at the Malian army air base in Bamako, January 14, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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