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Pictures | Sat Jan 26, 2013 | 6:21pm EST

French, Malian forces capture Gao rebel stronghold

Malian soldiers ride in a Malian army pickup truck in Diabaly January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers ride in a Malian army pickup truck in Diabaly January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers ride in a Malian army pickup truck in Diabaly January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney
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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

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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The inside of Malian army armored vehicle, believed to be attacked by Islamist rebels, is seen in Diabaly January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

The inside of Malian army armored vehicle, believed to be attacked by Islamist rebels, is seen in Diabaly January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

The inside of Malian army armored vehicle, believed to be attacked by Islamist rebels, is seen in Diabaly January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney
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A man peers into a Malian army armored vehicle, believed to be attacked by Islamist rebels, in Diabaly January 26 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A man peers into a Malian army armored vehicle, believed to be attacked by Islamist rebels, in Diabaly January 26 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A man peers into a Malian army armored vehicle, believed to be attacked by Islamist rebels, in Diabaly January 26 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney
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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

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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A destroyed armoured vehicle is seen in the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A destroyed armoured vehicle is seen in the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A destroyed armoured vehicle is seen in the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
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A destroyed vehicle with a machine gun believed to belong to Islamist rebels is seen on the road between Sevare and the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A destroyed vehicle with a machine gun believed to belong to Islamist rebels is seen on the road between Sevare and the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A destroyed vehicle with a machine gun believed to belong to Islamist rebels is seen on the road between Sevare and the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
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A Malian soldier stands guard near an armoured vehicle in the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A Malian soldier stands guard near an armoured vehicle in the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A Malian soldier stands guard near an armoured vehicle in the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
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French soldiers check an aircraft, which is used to send minor equipment to frontline troops, at Bamako airport January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Malin Palm

French soldiers check an aircraft, which is used to send minor equipment to frontline troops, at Bamako airport January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Malin Palm

French soldiers check an aircraft, which is used to send minor equipment to frontline troops, at Bamako airport January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Malin Palm
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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

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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A French military medical team prepares to move out of Bamako airport January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Malin Palm

A French military medical team prepares to move out of Bamako airport January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Malin Palm

A French military medical team prepares to move out of Bamako airport January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Malin Palm
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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

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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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 soldier walks past burnt uniforms in the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A Malian soldier walks past burnt uniforms in the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

A Malian soldier walks past burnt uniforms in the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
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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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Children wave to media in the the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Children wave to media in the the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Children wave to media in the the recently liberated town of Konna January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
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A Malian soldier stands guard at a military checkpoint in Diabaly January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A Malian soldier stands guard at a military checkpoint in Diabaly January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A Malian soldier stands guard at a military checkpoint in Diabaly January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney
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