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Residents cross the Niger river on a boat on January 22, 2013 near... News Photo2012-2013 Northern Mali Conflict,Bamako,Civilian,Conflict,Horizontal,Mali,Nautical Vessel,Niger River,Segou,VerticalPhotographer Collection: AFP 2013 AFPResidents cross the Niger river on a boat on January 22, 2013 near Segou, 240km North of Bamako. Mali's army chief today said his French-backed forces could reclaim the northern towns of Gao and fabled Timbuktu from Islamists in a month, as the United States began airlifting French troops to Mali. AFP PHOTO / ERIC FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)