Mali

Mali Rebels Push On

Take control of small town

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Islamist rebels chased Mali's army from a garrison town deep in its own territory on Monday, striking back at the weakest link in a nascent coalition after French fighter jets hit militant bases deep in the Sahara.

The surprise move by what witnesses called a well-armed rebel force highlights the risk that the French campaign in Mali could widen as al Qaeda militants spread across the heart of the world's largest desert.

The advancing fighters took control of the small barracks town of Diabaly after attacking and defeating the Malian army there, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

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