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A French soldier from the 126 RI stands guard during the Operation... News PhotoArmy Soldier,Conflict,Former,France,French Culture,Gao Region,Horizontal,Islam,Kilometer,Large,Mali,Military,Rhode Island,Standing,US Military,ValleyPhotographer Collection: AFP 2013 AFPA French soldier from the 126 RI (Regiment Infantery) stands guard during the Operation Gustav, a hunt for Islamist fighters in a valley in northern Mali and one of France's largest military operations during its three-month intervention in its former colony, on April 9, 2013, 105 km North of Gao. Operation Gustav comes with France preparing to withdraw three-quarters of the 4,000 troops it deployed in January to block a feared advance on the Malian capital Bamako by Al Qaeda-linked insurgents. AFP PHOTO / JOEL SAGET (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)