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Malian soldiers are pictured in the centre of Gao on February 24,... News Photo2012-2013 Northern Mali Conflict,Army Soldier,Conflict,Gao Region,Horizontal,MaliPhotographer Collection: AFP 2013 AFPMalian soldiers are pictured in the centre of Gao on February 24, 2013. Tuareg militias battled Arab rebels in northern Mali Saturday, while French jets, US drones and Chad's elite desert forces were also in action in a major push to stamp out resistance from pockets of Islamist fighters. After recapturing the north's cities from the Al Qaeda groups that had controlled them since April 2012, the six-week-old French-led offensive took the fight to the retreating Islamist insurgents' toughest desert bastions. AFP PHOTO /JOEL SAGET (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)