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French-backed Malian troops uncovered arms and explosives left by Islamist fighters as they searched houses in Gao and Timbuktu.
Soldiers retook the two towns in northern Mali over the weekend after an 18-hour French offensive pushed the al Qaeda-allied militant back into their hideouts in the mountains and deserts.
In Gao, five suspected rebels and sympathisers were arrested, and weapons and counterfeit money were uncovered. Fleeing fighters torched a Timbuktu library holding priceless ancient manuscripts damaging many.
France's military has released footage of troops parachuting into Mali as part of its operation against Islamist rebels in northern Mali.
Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy has expressed concern at the way Britain's involvement in the mission in Mali has expanded.
Speaking in the Commons, he said:
The UK is to offer "extended support" to the regional effort in Mali, the Government has confirmed.
Forty troops will take part in an EU training mission in the country and 200 others will train other West African forces.
ITV News' Tim Ewart reports
French-led forces have now seized Timbuktu, north east of Mali's capital Bamako, from the Islamist militants who has been in control of the ancient city.
They now plan to continue advancing further North as part of the military operation against Islamist extremists.
The Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has confirmed that 40 UK personnel will train the Malian army and a further 200 will perform a similar task with forces in other west African countries.
In response to fears that Britain could get drawn into the Mali conflict, Mr Hammond said:
"It is not our intention to deploy combat troops.
"We are very clear about the risks of mission creep and we have defined very carefully the support we are willing and able to provide to the French and the Malian authorities".
Conservative MP John Baron has expressed his fears that the UK could be drawn into an "ever deepening conflict" in Mali and the wider region.
He said Afghanistan illustrated the danger of being "sucked into larger deployments, the mission itself changed".
He asked the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond to clarify the exact role of British troops.
In response, Mr Hammond said: "The UK has a clear interest in the stability of Mali and ensuring that its territory does not become an ungoverned space.".
"The role of British troops is clearly not a combat role and will not extend as we envisage at the moment to a force protection role".
"We are looking for force protection arrangements to be put in place probably by the French".
The Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has said that the role of British troops in the Mali effort will not be a combat one and neither will it involve force protection in Mali.
The Defence Secretary Phillip Hammond has confirmed that Britain will commit 40 personnel to the EU training mission to Mali.
Latest ITV News reports
Throughout ten months of Islamist rule, the people of Timbuktu risked their lives to preserve the artefacts of their ancient heritage.
Francois Hollande is due to visit Timbuktu during his visit to the West African country this weekend. He will be welcomed by many.