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Pictures | Thu Feb 21, 2013 | 8:05pm GMT

Mali street battle

<p>A Malian soldier runs in an empty gutter during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. 
REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A Malian soldier runs in an empty gutter during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A Malian soldier runs in an empty gutter during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>French soldiers take up positions near Independence Plaza, formerly Sharia Square, during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013.  REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

French soldiers take up positions near Independence Plaza, formerly Sharia Square, during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

French soldiers take up positions near Independence Plaza, formerly Sharia Square, during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A Malian soldier carrying machine gun ammunition jumps over a fence during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A Malian soldier carrying machine gun ammunition jumps over a fence during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A Malian soldier carrying machine gun ammunition jumps over a fence during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A Malian soldier fires an AK-47 during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013.  REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A Malian soldier fires an AK-47 during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A Malian soldier fires an AK-47 during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Malian soldiers drive down a road during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Malian soldiers drive down a road during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers drive down a road during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A Malian soldier takes cover amidst dust after a rocket propelled grenade was fired by his comrades in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A Malian soldier takes cover amidst dust after a rocket propelled grenade was fired by his comrades in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A Malian soldier takes cover amidst dust after a rocket propelled grenade was fired by his comrades in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>French soldiers take up positions near Independence Plaza, formerly Sharia Square, during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013.  REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

French soldiers take up positions near Independence Plaza, formerly Sharia Square, during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

French soldiers take up positions near Independence Plaza, formerly Sharia Square, during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A Malian soldier fires a gun at Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A Malian soldier fires a gun at Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A Malian soldier fires a gun at Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Malian soldiers fire a machine gun in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Malian soldiers fire a machine gun in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers fire a machine gun in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A Malian soldier looks on during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013.  REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A Malian soldier looks on during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A Malian soldier looks on during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A Malian soldier gestures to his comrades during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013.  REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A Malian soldier gestures to his comrades during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A Malian soldier gestures to his comrades during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Malian soldiers take cover during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013.  REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Malian soldiers take cover during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers take cover during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Malian soldiers walk past French soldiers crouching near Sharia Square, now renamed Independence Plaza, during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Malian soldiers walk past French soldiers crouching near Sharia Square, now renamed Independence Plaza, during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers walk past French soldiers crouching near Sharia Square, now renamed Independence Plaza, during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Children run home from school after hearing gunfire and explosions in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Children run home from school after hearing gunfire and explosions in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Children run home from school after hearing gunfire and explosions in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Malian soldiers fire at Islamists' positions at the mayor's office in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Malian soldiers fire at Islamists' positions at the mayor's office in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers fire at Islamists' positions at the mayor's office in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Malian soldiers fire at Islamists' positions at the mayor's office in Gao February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Malian soldiers fire at Islamists' positions at the mayor's office in Gao February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers fire at Islamists' positions at the mayor's office in Gao February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Malian soldiers direct each other during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Malian soldiers direct each other during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers direct each other during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Malian soldiers sit behind a wall during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Malian soldiers sit behind a wall during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers sit behind a wall during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A Malian soldier runs past smoke from a petrol station on fire during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A Malian soldier runs past smoke from a petrol station on fire during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A Malian soldier runs past smoke from a petrol station on fire during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>French soldiers crouch behind a wall during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

French soldiers crouch behind a wall during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

French soldiers crouch behind a wall during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Malian soldiers run for cover during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Malian soldiers run for cover during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers run for cover during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A Malian soldier gestures during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A Malian soldier gestures during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A Malian soldier gestures during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Malian soldiers talk to each other in a cloud of dust during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Malian soldiers talk to each other in a cloud of dust during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers talk to each other in a cloud of dust during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>French soldiers crouch behind a wall during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

French soldiers crouch behind a wall during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

French soldiers crouch behind a wall during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A French soldier aims his sniper rifle during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A French soldier aims his sniper rifle during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A French soldier aims his sniper rifle during fighting with Islamists in Gao, February 21, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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