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French, Mali forces head toward Timbuktu

French and Malian troops held a strategic bridge and the airport in the northern town of Gao on Sunday as their force also pressed toward Timbuktu, another stronghold of Islamic extremists in northern Mali, officials said.

 

The advances come as French and African land forces also make their way to Gao from neighboring Niger in a bid to defeat the al-Qaida-linked Islamists who seized control of northern Mali more than nine months ago. (AP)