Jan. 24 - Residents in Diabaly, Mali try to resume life after Islamist extremists are driven out by French troops, fighting continues elsewhere.. Julie Noce reports.
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A usually bustling market in Diabaly Mali is less crowded these days...
An uprising by Islamist militants- and subsequent surprise assault by French and Malian troops- have left people here afraid to leave their homes.
Before the town was reclaimed from the rebels, people say they were held hostage by militant Islamist troops who commandeer their homes, and used them as human shields.
(SOUNDBITE) (French) DIABALY RESIDENT, SOULEYMANE DEMBÉLÉ, SAYING:
"I was at home one night, after having been to the mosque, and I heard some noise on the roof. I went to have a look and I saw they were getting weapons up to the roof, and in the trees as well. When the plane came, they aimed for it and fired."
Once French and Malian troops arrived, rebels fled... and left behind a cache of weapons.
But elsewhere, the fight continues.
Some 2300 French troop have been deployed to the region between Sevare and Mopti to prevent insurgents from moving further south.
Although the U.N. mandated intervention was originally conceived as "African-led, African-owned", France has taken the lead in the military operation.
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