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Pictures | Fri Jan 25, 2013 | 5:44pm EST

French-backed Mali forces push towards rebel-held Gao

A convoy of French military vehicles heads toward Sevare in the village of Somadougou January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A convoy of French military vehicles heads toward Sevare in the village of Somadougou January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A convoy of French military vehicles heads toward Sevare in the village of Somadougou January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
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(L - R)France, Mali, Burkina Faso and Chad flags are displayed at a police checkpoint in Markala January 25, 2013. The flags are displayed in support of the international military intervention against Islamist rebels holding Mali's north. REUTERS/Joe Penney

(L - R)France, Mali, Burkina Faso and Chad flags are displayed at a police checkpoint in Markala January 25, 2013. The flags are displayed in support of the international military intervention against Islamist rebels holding Mali's north. REUTERS/Joe...more

(L - R)France, Mali, Burkina Faso and Chad flags are displayed at a police checkpoint in Markala January 25, 2013. The flags are displayed in support of the international military intervention against Islamist rebels holding Mali's north. REUTERS/Joe Penney
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Malian military soldiers paint vehicles seized from Islamist rebels at a military camp in Sevare, about 600 km (400 miles) northeast of the capital Bamako, January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Adama Diarra

Malian military soldiers paint vehicles seized from Islamist rebels at a military camp in Sevare, about 600 km (400 miles) northeast of the capital Bamako, January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Adama Diarra

Malian military soldiers paint vehicles seized from Islamist rebels at a military camp in Sevare, about 600 km (400 miles) northeast of the capital Bamako, January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Adama Diarra
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French soldiers, who prepare for their departure for Mali, walk past armoured vehicles during a visit of the French Defence Minister at the military base of Miramas, southern France, January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier (FRANCE - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS)

French soldiers, who prepare for their departure for Mali, walk past armoured vehicles during a visit of the French Defence Minister at the military base of Miramas, southern France, January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier (FRANCE - Tags:...more

French soldiers, who prepare for their departure for Mali, walk past armoured vehicles during a visit of the French Defence Minister at the military base of Miramas, southern France, January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier (FRANCE - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS)
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A Malian military soldier carries his weapon as he stands at the Malian military Command Post in Sevare, about 600 km (400 miles) northeast of the capital Bamako January 25, 2013. Government forces advanced into northern Mali on Friday and reached the town of Hombori, some 160 km (100 miles) south of the Islamist rebel stronghold of Gao, after French air strikes drove back the militants, military sources said. REUTERS/Adama Diarra (MALI - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT MILITARY)

A Malian military soldier carries his weapon as he stands at the Malian military Command Post in Sevare, about 600 km (400 miles) northeast of the capital Bamako January 25, 2013. Government forces advanced into northern Mali on Friday and reached...more

A Malian military soldier carries his weapon as he stands at the Malian military Command Post in Sevare, about 600 km (400 miles) northeast of the capital Bamako January 25, 2013. Government forces advanced into northern Mali on Friday and reached the town of Hombori, some 160 km (100 miles) south of the Islamist rebel stronghold of Gao, after French air strikes drove back the militants, military sources said. REUTERS/Adama Diarra (MALI - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT MILITARY)
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