Africa

Photos: Mali military battles Islamist insurgents

Updated 10:15 PM ET, Fri February 8, 2013
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Malian soldiers transport in a pickup truck a dozen suspected Islamist rebels on Friday, February 8, after arresting them north of Gao. A suicide bomber blew himself up on February 8 near a group of Malian soldiers in the northern city, where Islamist rebels driven from the town have resorted to guerilla attacks. PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
Malians look at the charred motorcycle used by a suicide bomber before he blew himself up near a group of Malian soldiers on February 8. The act marked the first suicide attack in the embattled west African nation since the start of a French-led offensive to oust the Islamists from Mali's north, where they had controlled key towns for 10 months. PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
A convoy of French army vehicles head toward Gao on February 7. France is mulling over when to hand off its four-week-old intervention to U.N. peacekeepers. PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
A man searches through the ruins of a building destroyed by French airstrikes in Douentza, Mali, on Tuesday, February 5. The town was retaken by French and Malian troops in January. PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
A child holds up a machine gun round found in the ruins of a building destroyed by French airstrikes in Douentza, Mali, on February 5. PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
A child leads a donkey cart past a destroyed Malian army armored vehicle near Douentza, Mali, on February 5. PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
Malians welcome France's President Francois Hollande as he arrives in Timbuktu on Saturday, February 2. French-led troops are working to secure the area against Islamist militants. FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images
A man sweeps the red carpet at Mali's Mopti airport on January 2 before the arrival of Hollande and Mali's interim President Dioncounda Traore. PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
French soldiers patrol next to the Djingareyber mosque, on January 31, in Timbuktu, Mali. The city was recaptured on January 28, by French-led forces in their offensive against Islamist rebels who have been occupying Mali's north since last April. FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images
French air strikes destroyed this vehicle outside the northern Malian city of Gao. SIA KAMBOU/AFP/Getty Images
Men play boules, a game that was forbidden under Islamist rule. on January Wednesday, 30, in Gao, Mali. Gao, once a key Islamist stronghold, was retaken on January 26 by French and Malian troops. SIA KAMBOU/AFP/Getty Images
A Malian soldier tries to disperse looters in Timbuktu, Mali, on Tuesday, January 29. Malian and French forces have been battling Islamist militants to loosen their grip on the country. France was the colonial power in Mali until 1960. ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
People cheer along a road in Ansongo, a town near the northern Malian city of Gao, as troops from neighboring Niger enter the city. KAMBOU SIA/AFP/Getty Images
A man waves a French flag as residents celebrate the arrival of Niger troops on January 29 in Ansongo. KAMBOU SIA/AFP/Getty Images
Niger troops enter Ansongo on January 29. KAMBOU SIA/AFP/Getty Images
Malian soldiers enter the historic city of Timbuktu on Monday, January 28. ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
French soldiers flying back from Timbuktu arrive at the French army base camp in Sevare on January 28. FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images
A man prays in the recently liberated town of Douentza on January 28. JOE PENNEY/REUTERS/LANDOV
Wounded Malian soldiers rest after receiving medical care at the Polyclinique of Kati on Sunday, January 27. Emilie Regnier/EPA/Landov
Malian soldiers wait at a checkpoint near Sevare on January 27. FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images
A French soldier walks through the bush in central Mali on January 27. NIC BOTHMA/epa/LANDOV
Malian soldiers wait at a checkpoint near Sevare on January 27. FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images
A Malian soldier stands amid debris Saturday, January 26, in the key central town of Konna, which has been under French and Malian army control since last week. It was taken on January 11 by Islamist groups. FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images
Malian soldiers walk past the bullet-riddled wall of a house in Konna on Saturday, January 26. FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images
A Malian soldier looks at the wreckage of an Islamist rebel's armed pickup truck in Konna. FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images
Ammunition lies on the ground in Konna. FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images
Malian soldiers escort journalists in Konna. FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images
Malian soldiers patrol a street of Diabaly on January 26. ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
Ali Ag Noh, right, stands with his family in front of his house on Friday, Janurary 25, in the village of Seribala, Mali, after his cousin and brother-in-law, Aboubakrim Ag Mohamed, and a cattle rancher, Samba Dicko, were shot dead on January 24, allegedly by the Malian Army. According to Noh, Mohamed, a Tuareg, and Dicko were shot in the head in Seribala after being accused by two Malian soldiers of being Islamists or aiding Islamists. ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
Members of the French army arrive at a base camp in Sevare, Mali, on January 25. French and Malian troops advanced on the key Islamist stronghold of Gao after recapturing the northern town of Hombori as the extremists bombed a strategic bridge to thwart a new front planned in the east. AFP PHOTO / FRED DUFOUR
Malian soldiers ride a motorcycle in a street of Merkala, on Thursday, January 24, 2013 as the first of the 6,000 troops pledged by African nations to support France started heading north. ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
A Malian soldier armed with a machine gun watches a herd of cattle crossing a bridge over the Niger River on January 24. Mali's military offensive against militants controlling the northern half of the country has gathered pace in the past two weeks, with backing from France and other international allies. ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
A French army convoy travels near Segou, in south-central Mali, is on its way to Diabaly on January 24. ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
A woman who fled northern Mali sits at a camp for internally displaced persons in Sevare on Wednesday, January 23. The EU announced 20 million euros of extra humanitarian aid to help Malians fleeing fighting, its second such donation in as many months. FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images
A soldier rides on the back of a scooter outside Diabaly on January 23. NIC BOTHMA/epa/LANDOV
Malians walk past a destroyed truck mounted with a machine gun on Tuesday, January 22. The truck was used by militants and destroyed during airstrikes by the French air force. SOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)
Malian soldiers patrol Diabaly on January 22. ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images
Malian soldiers walk past destroyed army barracks as they patrol in Diabaly on January 22, 2013. ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images
A French soldier mans his post on January 22 near the city of Diabaly, Mali. ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images
A French soldier stands guard in front of charred pickups used by Islamist rebels in Diabaly, Mali, on Monday, January 21. The Malian military says it has gained control of the town of Diabaly, a key advance in the battle against Islamist militants in the north. REUTERS /JOE PENNEY /LANDOV
A Malian soldier walks past a army building that was taken by the jihadists before being destroyed during aerial bombing in Diabaly on January 21. ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images
A Malian soldier searches through debris after aerial bombing in the city of Diabaly on January 21. ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images
A French soldier looks around after arriving in Diabaly on January 21. ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images
French soldiers unload military equipment from an aircraft on January 21. ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
Malian youths look on as French soldiers drive through Niono on Sunday, January 20. ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images
The French Army conducts operations in Mali on January 20. Maxppp /Landov
A Malian soldier holds a machine gun on top of a jeep on the road back from the town of Mopti, Mali, on Saturday, January 19. FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images
French soldiers of the 5th Combat Helicopter Regiment stand with their equipment in front of a helicopter on January 19 at an airbase near Bamako, Mali. French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on January 19 that France now had 2,000 troops on the ground in Mali as part of a drive against Islamist militants holding the north of the country. ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
French soldiers of the 5th Combat Helicopter Regiment relax on January 19 at the airbase near Bamako. ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
A French soldier from the helicopter regiment stands guard at the airbase on January 19. ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
Malian soldiers check the identity of passengers in a bus coming from Mopti on January 19. FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images
French President Francois Hollande, left, speaks with soldiers who are due to leave for Mali, during a meeting in Tulle, France, on January 19. PHILIPPE WOJAZER/AFP/Getty Images
Malian soldiers sit in a truck on their way to Niono, Mali, on Friday, January 18. FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images
A Malian child looks out from a bus as Malian army soldiers check vehicles and passengers in the city of Niono on Friday, January 18. Malian troops, with help from France and a U.N.-mandated African force, are fighting al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants. FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images)
Malian soldiers man a checkpoint in Niono on January 18. FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images
Togolese troops board a plane to Bamako, Mali, on Thursday, January 17, at the Lome airport in Togo. Troops from West African countries are heading to Mali as part of a U.N.-mandated African force to fight the insurgents. EMILE KOUTON/AFP/Getty Images
Helmets belonging to soldiers of the Nigerian army are prepared to be sent to Mali at the Nigerian army peacekeeping center near Kaduna, Nigeria, on January 17. REUTERS /AFOLABI SOTUNDE /LANDOV
Malian soldiers stand guard as Mali's President Dioncounda Traore speaks to French troops at an air base in Bamako, Mali, on Wednesday, January 16. REUTERS /JOE PENNEY /LANDOV
A Malian soldier adjusts his weapon as President Traore speaks to French troops at an air base in Bamako on January 16. REUTERS /JOE PENNEY /LANDOV
French army soldiers stand on armoured vehicles as they leave Bamako and start their deployment to the north of Mali as part of the Serval operation on Tuesday, January 15. Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images
A French flag is hung on a van in Bamako as French troops start a deployment in the north of Mali on Wednesday. Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images
French troops prepare their Sagaie armoured all terrain vehicles from the Licorne operation based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, at the 101st military airbase near Bamako on Wednesday. Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images
French troops from the Licorne operation based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, arrive at the 101st military airbase near Bamako on Wednesday to reinforce the Serval operations, before their deployment in the north of Mali. Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images
Malian police patrol in the capital of Bamako on Sunday, January 13. ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images
Malian police patrol Bamako on Sunday. ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images
A British army Boeing C-17 cargo plane from British Brize Norton base lands Sunday at the Evreux military base in France to take supplies to Bamako. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images
French soldiers prepare cargo for a British plane en route to Bamako on Sunday at the Evreux military base. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images
A French armored vehicle rolls onto a British army aircraft to be taken to Bamako on Sunday in Evreux. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images
Workers adjust chains on a vehicle load in the C-17 in Evreux on Sunday. CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images
Internally displaced Malians from Timbuktu chat at a makeshift cafe in Bamako on Sunday. ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images
French President Francois Hollande, right, speaks with members of Malian associations in France during a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Sunday. PHILIPPE WOJAZER/AFP/Getty Images
Muslim men protest French military action in Mali outside the French Embassy in central London on Saturday, January 12. About 50 Muslim protesters gathered outside the embassy. CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images
Protesters wave signs outside the French Embassy on Saturday in London. CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images
The interim president of Mali, Dioncounda Traore, speaks after a ministerial Cabinet meeting in Bamako on Friday, January 11. Malian authorities declared a state of emergency throughout the country on Friday as the army launched a counteroffensive against Islamists who were pushing south. HABIBOU KOUYATE/AFP/Getty Images