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French president in Mali visit

There was a hero's welcome for France's President Hollande when he arrived in Timbuktu. He was visiting the desert city in Mali, after its recapture from Islamic extremists.

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French and Malian troops patrol Gao

Men sit outside a shop as Malian and French flags decorate the area in Sevare, near Gao. Credit: Reuters / Adama Diarra

A Malian military spokesman says French and Malian troops are patrolling the critically important city of Gao, in northern Mali.

Lt. Col. Duarran Kone, a spokesman for Mali's defence ministry, said that forces have maintained their hold over a key bridge in the town, as well as the airport.

The capture of the airport is the biggest advance yet in the effort to retake the north of the country.

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