France

French and Malian Troops Head to Timbuktu

After victories against Islamic militants

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French and Malian troops were advancing on Gao on Friday and had taken the nearby town of Hombori. More than 9,000 refugees have fled northern Mali since the French joined the Malian troops in an offensive against Islamist groups on and Timbuktu is reported to be without water or electricity.

French and Malian soldiers were in control of Hombori, where two French citizens were taken hostage in November 2011, on Friday, local people said, while Malian military sources confirmed that their next target is Gao, which fell to the rebels early last year.

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