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Pictures | Wed Jan 30, 2013 | 6:21pm EST

French troops deployed in last Mali rebel strongholds

Malian soldiers heading to Gao in a pickup truck arrive in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30, 2013. French troops took control on Wednesday of the airport of Mali's northeast town of Kidal, the last urban stronghold held by Islamist rebels, as they moved to wrap up the first phase of a military operation to wrest northern Mali from rebel hands. REUTERS/Joe Penney (MALI - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS MILITARY CONFLICT)

Malian soldiers heading to Gao in a pickup truck arrive in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30, 2013. French troops took control on Wednesday of the airport of Mali's northeast town of Kidal, the last urban stronghold held by Islamist...more

Malian soldiers heading to Gao in a pickup truck arrive in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30, 2013. French troops took control on Wednesday of the airport of Mali's northeast town of Kidal, the last urban stronghold held by Islamist rebels, as they moved to wrap up the first phase of a military operation to wrest northern Mali from rebel hands. REUTERS/Joe Penney (MALI - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS MILITARY CONFLICT)
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Malian soldiers heading to Gao arrive in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30 2013. French troops took control on Wednesday of the airport of Mali's northeast town of Kidal, the last urban stronghold held by Islamist rebels, as they moved to wrap up the first phase of a military operation to wrest northern Mali from rebel hands. REUTERS/Joe Penney (MALI - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS MILITARY CONFLICT)

Malian soldiers heading to Gao arrive in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30 2013. French troops took control on Wednesday of the airport of Mali's northeast town of Kidal, the last urban stronghold held by Islamist rebels, as they...more

Malian soldiers heading to Gao arrive in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30 2013. French troops took control on Wednesday of the airport of Mali's northeast town of Kidal, the last urban stronghold held by Islamist rebels, as they moved to wrap up the first phase of a military operation to wrest northern Mali from rebel hands. REUTERS/Joe Penney (MALI - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS MILITARY CONFLICT)
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Malian soldiers heading to Gao arrive in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30, 2013. French troops took control on Wednesday of the airport of Mali's northeast town of Kidal, the last urban stronghold held by Islamist rebels, as they moved to wrap up the first phase of a military operation to wrest northern Mali from rebel hands. REUTERS/Joe Penney (MALI - Tags: MILITARY CIVIL UNREST POLITICS CONFLICT)

Malian soldiers heading to Gao arrive in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30, 2013. French troops took control on Wednesday of the airport of Mali's northeast town of Kidal, the last urban stronghold held by Islamist rebels, as they...more

Malian soldiers heading to Gao arrive in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30, 2013. French troops took control on Wednesday of the airport of Mali's northeast town of Kidal, the last urban stronghold held by Islamist rebels, as they moved to wrap up the first phase of a military operation to wrest northern Mali from rebel hands. REUTERS/Joe Penney (MALI - Tags: MILITARY CIVIL UNREST POLITICS CONFLICT)
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A destroyed vehicle used by Islamist rebels sits on a road between Diabaly and Timbuktu January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (MALI - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT)

A destroyed vehicle used by Islamist rebels sits on a road between Diabaly and Timbuktu January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (MALI - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT)

A destroyed vehicle used by Islamist rebels sits on a road between Diabaly and Timbuktu January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (MALI - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT)
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A sign for a radical Islamist group is seen in Niafunke January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (MALI - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)

A sign for a radical Islamist group is seen in Niafunke January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (MALI - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)

A sign for a radical Islamist group is seen in Niafunke January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (MALI - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)
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A Tuareg man looks a destroyed vehicle used by Islamist rebels on a road between Diabaly and Timbuktu January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (MALI - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)

A Tuareg man looks a destroyed vehicle used by Islamist rebels on a road between Diabaly and Timbuktu January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (MALI - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)

A Tuareg man looks a destroyed vehicle used by Islamist rebels on a road between Diabaly and Timbuktu January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (MALI - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)
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A Malian soldier stands next to his AK-47 in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30, 2013. French troops took control on Wednesday of the airport of Mali's northeast town of Kidal, the last urban stronghold held by Islamist rebels, as they moved to wrap up the first phase of a military operation to wrest northern Mali from rebel hands. REUTERS/Joe Penney (MALI - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS MILITARY CONFLICT)

A Malian soldier stands next to his AK-47 in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30, 2013. French troops took control on Wednesday of the airport of Mali's northeast town of Kidal, the last urban stronghold held by Islamist rebels, as...more

A Malian soldier stands next to his AK-47 in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30, 2013. French troops took control on Wednesday of the airport of Mali's northeast town of Kidal, the last urban stronghold held by Islamist rebels, as they moved to wrap up the first phase of a military operation to wrest northern Mali from rebel hands. REUTERS/Joe Penney (MALI - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS MILITARY CONFLICT)
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A Malian soldier makes a phone call under a tree in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30, 2013. French troops seized the airport in Mali's northern town of Kidal, the last urban stronghold held by Islamist insurgents, as they moved to wrap up the first phase of a military operation to wrest northern Mali from rebel hands. REUTERS/Joe Penney (MALI - Tags: MILITARY CIVIL UNREST POLITICS CONFLICT)

A Malian soldier makes a phone call under a tree in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30, 2013. French troops seized the airport in Mali's northern town of Kidal, the last urban stronghold held by Islamist insurgents, as they moved to...more

A Malian soldier makes a phone call under a tree in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30, 2013. French troops seized the airport in Mali's northern town of Kidal, the last urban stronghold held by Islamist insurgents, as they moved to wrap up the first phase of a military operation to wrest northern Mali from rebel hands. REUTERS/Joe Penney (MALI - Tags: MILITARY CIVIL UNREST POLITICS CONFLICT)
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Malian soldiers heading to Gao in a pickup truck arrive in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers heading to Gao in a pickup truck arrive in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers heading to Gao in a pickup truck arrive in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney
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The remains of weapons are pictured near a destroyed vehicle used by Islamist rebels on the road between Diabaly and Timbuktu in Mali January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (MALI - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT)

The remains of weapons are pictured near a destroyed vehicle used by Islamist rebels on the road between Diabaly and Timbuktu in Mali January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (MALI - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT)

The remains of weapons are pictured near a destroyed vehicle used by Islamist rebels on the road between Diabaly and Timbuktu in Mali January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (MALI - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT)
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A Tuareg man holds a bullet near a destroyed vehicle belonging to Islamist rebels on the road between Diabaly and Timbuktu in Mali January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (MALI - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

A Tuareg man holds a bullet near a destroyed vehicle belonging to Islamist rebels on the road between Diabaly and Timbuktu in Mali January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (MALI - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

A Tuareg man holds a bullet near a destroyed vehicle belonging to Islamist rebels on the road between Diabaly and Timbuktu in Mali January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (MALI - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
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A gun is pictured near a destroyed vehicle used by Islamist rebels on the road between Diabaly and Timbuktu in Mali January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (MALI - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT)

A gun is pictured near a destroyed vehicle used by Islamist rebels on the road between Diabaly and Timbuktu in Mali January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (MALI - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT)

A gun is pictured near a destroyed vehicle used by Islamist rebels on the road between Diabaly and Timbuktu in Mali January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (MALI - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT)
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Malian soldiers heading to Gao in a pickup truck arrive in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers heading to Gao in a pickup truck arrive in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers heading to Gao in a pickup truck arrive in the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney
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Malian soldiers wave to their colleagues driving to Gao (not pictured) as they leave the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers wave to their colleagues driving to Gao (not pictured) as they leave the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Malian soldiers wave to their colleagues driving to Gao (not pictured) as they leave the recently liberated town of Douentza January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney
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A Malian soldier displays ammunition seized from Islamists rebels after their departure, in Timbuktu January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Francois Rihouay

A Malian soldier displays ammunition seized from Islamists rebels after their departure, in Timbuktu January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Francois Rihouay

A Malian soldier displays ammunition seized from Islamists rebels after their departure, in Timbuktu January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Francois Rihouay
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Boys cross the street in the recently liberated town of Douentza, Mali January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Boys cross the street in the recently liberated town of Douentza, Mali January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Boys cross the street in the recently liberated town of Douentza, Mali January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney
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Women ride on a motorcycle in the recently liberated town of Douentza, Mali January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Women ride on a motorcycle in the recently liberated town of Douentza, Mali January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Women ride on a motorcycle in the recently liberated town of Douentza, Mali January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney
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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

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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French troops, aboard an armoured vehicle, guard the Timbuktu airport in this January 28, 2013 picture provided by the French Military audiovisual service (ECPAD) January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Arnaud Roine/ECPAD/Handout

French troops, aboard an armoured vehicle, guard the Timbuktu airport in this January 28, 2013 picture provided by the French Military audiovisual service (ECPAD) January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Arnaud Roine/ECPAD/Handout

French troops, aboard an armoured vehicle, guard the Timbuktu airport in this January 28, 2013 picture provided by the French Military audiovisual service (ECPAD) January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Arnaud Roine/ECPAD/Handout
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French troops aboard a tank are greeted by the population as they arrive in Timbuktu in this January 28, 2013 picture provided by the French Military audiovisual service (ECPAD) January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Arnaud Roine/ECPAD/Handout

French troops aboard a tank are greeted by the population as they arrive in Timbuktu in this January 28, 2013 picture provided by the French Military audiovisual service (ECPAD) January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Arnaud Roine/ECPAD/Handout

French troops aboard a tank are greeted by the population as they arrive in Timbuktu in this January 28, 2013 picture provided by the French Military audiovisual service (ECPAD) January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Arnaud Roine/ECPAD/Handout
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Cows graze in a compound hit by French air strikes Douentza January 29 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Cows graze in a compound hit by French air strikes Douentza January 29 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Cows graze in a compound hit by French air strikes Douentza January 29 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney
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Douentza residents Hamidou Dicko (L) and Ousmane Togo survey the remains of a hotel in Douentza January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Douentza residents Hamidou Dicko (L) and Ousmane Togo survey the remains of a hotel in Douentza January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Douentza residents Hamidou Dicko (L) and Ousmane Togo survey the remains of a hotel in Douentza January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney
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The remains of a hotel hit by French air strikes are seen in Douentza January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

The remains of a hotel hit by French air strikes are seen in Douentza January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

The remains of a hotel hit by French air strikes are seen in Douentza January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney
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An armored vehicle hit by French air strikes lies in the sand in Douentza January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

An armored vehicle hit by French air strikes lies in the sand in Douentza January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

An armored vehicle hit by French air strikes lies in the sand in Douentza January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney
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A sign for the radical Islamist group MUJAO is seen in Douentza January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A sign for the radical Islamist group MUJAO is seen in Douentza January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A sign for the radical Islamist group MUJAO is seen in Douentza January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney
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Douentza resident Hamidou Dicko stands next to a charred vehicle hit by French air strikes in the remains of a hotel in Douentza January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Douentza resident Hamidou Dicko stands next to a charred vehicle hit by French air strikes in the remains of a hotel in Douentza January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Douentza resident Hamidou Dicko stands next to a charred vehicle hit by French air strikes in the remains of a hotel in Douentza January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney
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A view shows the remains of a hotel hit by French air strikes in Douentza, Mali January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A view shows the remains of a hotel hit by French air strikes in Douentza, Mali January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

A view shows the remains of a hotel hit by French air strikes in Douentza, Mali January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney
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