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French troops from the 21st Rima arrive near the town of Markala to... News Photo2012-2013 Northern Mali Conflict,Army,Arrival,Bamako,Bridge - Man Made Structure,Conflict,Day,French Culture,Horizontal,Leaving,Mali,Niger River,Security,Strategy,TownPhotographer Collection: AFP 2013 AFPFrench troops from the 21st Rima (French Navy Infantry Regiment) arrive near the town of Markala to secure a strategic bridge on the Niger river on January 16, 2013 after leaving the capital Bamako Bamako the day before. After days of airstrikes on Islamist positions in the northern territory the rebels seized in April, French and Malian troops battled the insurgents in the small town of Diabaly, some 400 kilometres (250 miles) north of Bamako. AFP PHOTO / MICHEL MOUTOT (Photo credit should read MICHEL MOUTOT/AFP/Getty Images)