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Pictures | Mon Mar 4, 2013 | 5:45pm EST

The fight for Mali

<p>Ethnic Tuareg Malian soldiers, under the command of Col. El Hadj Ag Gamou, occupy a former petrol station in Gao March 4, 2013.  REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Ethnic Tuareg Malian soldiers, under the command of Col. El Hadj Ag Gamou, occupy a former petrol station in Gao March 4, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Ethnic Tuareg Malian soldiers, under the command of Col. El Hadj Ag Gamou, occupy a former petrol station in Gao March 4, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A boy casts a net to fish in the Niger River in Gao March 4, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A boy casts a net to fish in the Niger River in Gao March 4, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A boy casts a net to fish in the Niger River in Gao March 4, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Ethnic Tuareg Malian soldiers under the command of Col. El Hadj Ag Gamou pose for a picture at a checkpoint in Gao, March 3, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Ethnic Tuareg Malian soldiers under the command of Col. El Hadj Ag Gamou pose for a picture at a checkpoint in Gao, March 3, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Ethnic Tuareg Malian soldiers under the command of Col. El Hadj Ag Gamou pose for a picture at a checkpoint in Gao, March 3, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Malian soldiers conduct a search of a passenger vehicle at a checkpoint in Gao, March 3, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Malian soldiers conduct a search of a passenger vehicle at a checkpoint in Gao, March 3, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers conduct a search of a passenger vehicle at a checkpoint in Gao, March 3, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A city worker paints over a sign reading "Sharia Square" in Gao March 3, 2013.  REUTERS/Emmanuel Braun</p>

A city worker paints over a sign reading "Sharia Square" in Gao March 3, 2013. REUTERS/Emmanuel Braun

A city worker paints over a sign reading "Sharia Square" in Gao March 3, 2013. REUTERS/Emmanuel Braun

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<p>A French soldier walks in the destroyed main market in Gao, March 2, 2013.  REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A French soldier walks in the destroyed main market in Gao, March 2, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A French soldier walks in the destroyed main market in Gao, March 2, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A French soldier talks to children in the destroyed main market in Gao, March 2, 2013.  REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A French soldier talks to children in the destroyed main market in Gao, March 2, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A French soldier talks to children in the destroyed main market in Gao, March 2, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Malian soldiers patrol in the village of Kadji March 1, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Malian soldiers patrol in the village of Kadji March 1, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers patrol in the village of Kadji March 1, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Malian soldiers ride a canoe to the village of Kadji in Gao March 1, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Malian soldiers ride a canoe to the village of Kadji in Gao March 1, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers ride a canoe to the village of Kadji in Gao March 1, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A Malian soldier adjusts a belt of ammunition before taking a canoe to the village of Kadji in Gao March 1, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A Malian soldier adjusts a belt of ammunition before taking a canoe to the village of Kadji in Gao March 1, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A Malian soldier adjusts a belt of ammunition before taking a canoe to the village of Kadji in Gao March 1, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A man walks past the destroyed former customs building, which was used as a base by radical Islamists, in Gao February 28, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A man walks past the destroyed former customs building, which was used as a base by radical Islamists, in Gao February 28, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A man walks past the destroyed former customs building, which was used as a base by radical Islamists, in Gao February 28, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A French soldier stands next to an armored vehicle during an operation to collect explosives found in a house in Gao February 27, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A French soldier stands next to an armored vehicle during an operation to collect explosives found in a house in Gao February 27, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A French soldier stands next to an armored vehicle during an operation to collect explosives found in a house in Gao February 27, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A Belgian medical evacuation helicopter takes off during a demonstration for Belgian Defence Minister Pieter De Crem at the French military headquarters at a Malian air base in Gao February 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A Belgian medical evacuation helicopter takes off during a demonstration for Belgian Defence Minister Pieter De Crem at the French military headquarters at a Malian air base in Gao February 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A Belgian medical evacuation helicopter takes off during a demonstration for Belgian Defence Minister Pieter De Crem at the French military headquarters at a Malian air base in Gao February 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Radical Islamists arrested by French and Malian authorities in Timbuktu region sit in handcuffs in the military police headquarters in Gao, Mali February 26, 2013.  REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Radical Islamists arrested by French and Malian authorities in Timbuktu region sit in handcuffs in the military police headquarters in Gao, Mali February 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Radical Islamists arrested by French and Malian authorities in Timbuktu region sit in handcuffs in the military police headquarters in Gao, Mali February 26, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A civil society leader gestures while talking with a French soldier after a meeting between French military and senior civil society leaders in Gao, Mali February 25, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A civil society leader gestures while talking with a French soldier after a meeting between French military and senior civil society leaders in Gao, Mali February 25, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A civil society leader gestures while talking with a French soldier after a meeting between French military and senior civil society leaders in Gao, Mali February 25, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Men smoke in a room in Gao, Mali, February 24, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Men smoke in a room in Gao, Mali, February 24, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Men smoke in a room in Gao, Mali, February 24, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A military police officer sits at a military police station in Gao February 23, 2013.  REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A military police officer sits at a military police station in Gao February 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A military police officer sits at a military police station in Gao February 23, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Shopkeeper Abderrahmane Maiga stands in front of his destroyed general shop in Gao February 23, 2013. The shops were destroyed during fighting between Islamists and Malian and French armies on Thursday. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Shopkeeper Abderrahmane Maiga stands in front of his destroyed general shop in Gao February 23, 2013. The shops were destroyed during fighting between Islamists and Malian and French armies on Thursday. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Shopkeeper Abderrahmane Maiga stands in front of his destroyed general shop in Gao February 23, 2013. The shops were destroyed during fighting between Islamists and Malian and French armies on Thursday. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>The corpse of an Islamist fighter lies on the ground in the destroyed City Hall building in Gao February 23, 2013. The Islamist fighter was killed during fighting with the Malian and French armies on Thursday. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

The corpse of an Islamist fighter lies on the ground in the destroyed City Hall building in Gao February 23, 2013. The Islamist fighter was killed during fighting with the Malian and French armies on Thursday. REUTERS/Joe Penney

The corpse of an Islamist fighter lies on the ground in the destroyed City Hall building in Gao February 23, 2013. The Islamist fighter was killed during fighting with the Malian and French armies on Thursday. 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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<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>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 boy holds a homemade French flag in the recently liberated town of Douentza, Mali January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A boy holds a homemade French flag in the recently liberated town of Douentza, Mali January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A boy holds a homemade French flag in the recently liberated town of Douentza, Mali January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A Malian soldier checks for identification papers from bus passengers at a checkpoint in Gossi February 19, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A Malian soldier checks for identification papers from bus passengers at a checkpoint in Gossi February 19, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A Malian soldier checks for identification papers from bus passengers at a checkpoint in Gossi February 19, 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>Malian soldiers crouch behind arched doorways during gun battles with Islamist insurgents in the northern city of Gao, Mali February 10, 2013. REUTERS/Francois Rihouay</p>

Malian soldiers crouch behind arched doorways during gun battles with Islamist insurgents in the northern city of Gao, Mali February 10, 2013. REUTERS/Francois Rihouay

Malian soldiers crouch behind arched doorways during gun battles with Islamist insurgents in the northern city of Gao, Mali February 10, 2013. REUTERS/Francois Rihouay

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<p>A French soldier guards an outpost with a FR-F2 sniper rifle on the road to the airport, where French troops are based, in Gao February 12, 2013. Picture taken February 12, 2013. REUTERS/Francois Rihouay</p>

A French soldier guards an outpost with a FR-F2 sniper rifle on the road to the airport, where French troops are based, in Gao February 12, 2013. Picture taken February 12, 2013. REUTERS/Francois Rihouay

A French soldier guards an outpost with a FR-F2 sniper rifle on the road to the airport, where French troops are based, in Gao February 12, 2013. Picture taken February 12, 2013. REUTERS/Francois Rihouay

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<p>Malians celebrate on their motorcycles a visit by France's President Francois Hollande in Bamako, Mali February 2, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Malians celebrate on their motorcycles a visit by France's President Francois Hollande in Bamako, Mali February 2, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malians celebrate on their motorcycles a visit by France's President Francois Hollande in Bamako, Mali February 2, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>France's President Francois Hollande greets people in the center of Timbuktu February 2, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier</p>

France's President Francois Hollande greets people in the center of Timbuktu February 2, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

France's President Francois Hollande greets people in the center of Timbuktu February 2, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

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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>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>Gao resident Almahdi Abderrahmane poses for a picture next to debris where jihadists and French and Malian forces fought at the former Islamic police headquarters in Gao February 20, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Gao resident Almahdi Abderrahmane poses for a picture next to debris where jihadists and French and Malian forces fought at the former Islamic police headquarters in Gao February 20, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Gao resident Almahdi Abderrahmane poses for a picture next to debris where jihadists and French and Malian forces fought at the former Islamic police headquarters in Gao February 20, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Maxwell Owura lies on a hospital bed in Niono, January 19, 2013.  REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Maxwell Owura lies on a hospital bed in Niono, January 19, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Maxwell Owura lies on a hospital bed in Niono, January 19, 2013. 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>Pierre, a Catholic believer, poses for a picture after attending Ash Wednesday mass in Bamako February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Pierre, a Catholic believer, poses for a picture after attending Ash Wednesday mass in Bamako February 13, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Pierre, a Catholic believer, poses for a picture after attending Ash Wednesday mass in Bamako February 13, 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.   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. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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. 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 Malian man painted in the colours of the French flag and with the words reading: "Thank you France" stands next to a crowd before the arrival of France's President Francois Hollande at the Independence Plaza in Bamako, Mali February 2, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A Malian man painted in the colours of the French flag and with the words reading: "Thank you France" stands next to a crowd before the arrival of France's President Francois Hollande at the Independence Plaza in Bamako, Mali February 2, 2013....more

A Malian man painted in the colours of the French flag and with the words reading: "Thank you France" stands next to a crowd before the arrival of France's President Francois Hollande at the Independence Plaza in Bamako, Mali February 2, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Malians attend Friday prayers at the Djinguereber mosque in the center of Timbuktu February 1, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier</p>

Malians attend Friday prayers at the Djinguereber mosque in the center of Timbuktu February 1, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Malians attend Friday prayers at the Djinguereber mosque in the center of Timbuktu February 1, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

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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>A Malian man smokes a cigarette in front of a shop with Malian and French flags hung outside in Timbuktu January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier</p>

A Malian man smokes a cigarette in front of a shop with Malian and French flags hung outside in Timbuktu January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

A Malian man smokes a cigarette in front of a shop with Malian and French flags hung outside in Timbuktu January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

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<p>Residents look at the remains of vehicles which they said belonged to radical Islamist group MUJAO, after they were hit by French air strikes in the town of Gao January 27, 2013. Picture taken January 27, 2013.   REUTERS/Adama Diarra</p>

Residents look at the remains of vehicles which they said belonged to radical Islamist group MUJAO, after they were hit by French air strikes in the town of Gao January 27, 2013. Picture taken January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Adama Diarra

Residents look at the remains of vehicles which they said belonged to radical Islamist group MUJAO, after they were hit by French air strikes in the town of Gao January 27, 2013. Picture taken January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Adama Diarra

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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>People gather to greet French President Francois Hollande during his two-hour-long visit to Timbuktu February 2, 2013.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier</p>

People gather to greet French President Francois Hollande during his two-hour-long visit to Timbuktu February 2, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

People gather to greet French President Francois Hollande during his two-hour-long visit to Timbuktu February 2, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

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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>People mount a truck after being checked at a security checkpoint in Gossi February 19, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

People mount a truck after being checked at a security checkpoint in Gossi February 19, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

People mount a truck after being checked at a security checkpoint in Gossi February 19, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>France's President Francois Hollande (C) flanked by Mali's interim president Dioncounda Traore (2ndL), visit the Djingareyber Mosque in Timbuktu during his one-day visit in Mali,  February 2, 2013.   REUTERS/Fred Dufour/Pool</p>

France's President Francois Hollande (C) flanked by Mali's interim president Dioncounda Traore (2ndL), visit the Djingareyber Mosque in Timbuktu during his one-day visit in Mali, February 2, 2013. REUTERS/Fred Dufour/Pool

France's President Francois Hollande (C) flanked by Mali's interim president Dioncounda Traore (2ndL), visit the Djingareyber Mosque in Timbuktu during his one-day visit in Mali, February 2, 2013. REUTERS/Fred Dufour/Pool

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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>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>Resident Ousmane Togo is reflected on a piece of broken mirror as he surveys the remains of a hotel hit by French air strikes in Douentza, Mali January 29, 2013.  REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Resident Ousmane Togo is reflected on a piece of broken mirror as he surveys the remains of a hotel hit by French air strikes in Douentza, Mali January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Resident Ousmane Togo is reflected on a piece of broken mirror as he surveys the remains of a hotel hit by French air strikes in Douentza, Mali January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>French soldiers ride on a jeep on a road near the frontline in their conflict with Islamists just outside Niono, January 19, 2013.  REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

French soldiers ride on a jeep on a road near the frontline in their conflict with Islamists just outside Niono, January 19, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

French soldiers ride on a jeep on a road near the frontline in their conflict with Islamists just outside Niono, January 19, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A Malian soldier stands guard at the port in Gao February 20, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

A Malian soldier stands guard at the port in Gao February 20, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A Malian soldier stands guard at the port in Gao February 20, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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