French Forces Enter Timbuktu

    French soldiers are waiting the arrival of the French Defence Minister before their departure to Mali on January 25, 2013 at the Miramas ZRA (Zone de Regroupement et d'Attente) military base, southern France, as part of the French military operation codenamed Serval. Le Drian announced that 2400 French soldiers are now deployed in Mali as part of the operation Serval.  AFP PHOTO / GERARD JULIEN        (Photo credit should read GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)

    Gerard Julien/AFP, via Getty

    French-led troops in Mali entered the city of Timbuktu on Monday but have not yet seized control, according to the Associated Press. A French Army spokesman said that “substantial airpower” had been used to support the 1,000 French and 2,000 Malian forces in the offensive in Timbuktu, and they were encountering little resistance from the Islamists. However, Timbuktu’s mayor did indicate that the militants burned the homes of several civil servants and buildings that have housed ancient manuscripts for centuries. French troops seized control of the city of Gao on Saturday and expect to focus on Kidal, the last rebel stronghold, once Timbuktu is secured.

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