On the ground in Mali

Bystanders stand by a French APC Sunday as a French Puma transport helicopter lands to test the field in the center of Niono, some 300 miles north of the Mali capital Bamako. French troops encircled a key Malian town on Friday, trying to stop radical Islamists from striking against communities closer to the capital and cutting off their supply line, a French official said. The move around Diabaly came as French and Malian authorities said that the city whose capture prompted the French military intervention in the first place was no longer in the hands of the extremists.
Jerome Delay/AP Photo Bystanders stand by a French APC Sunday as a French Puma transport helicopter lands to test the field in the center of Niono, some 300 miles north of the Mali capital Bamako. French troops encircled a key Malian town on Friday, trying to stop radical Islamists from striking against communities closer to the capital and cutting off their supply line, a French official said. The move around Diabaly came as French and Malian authorities said that the city whose capture prompted the French military intervention in the first place was no longer in the hands of the extremists.

Bystanders stand by a French APC Sunday as a French Puma transport helicopter lands to test the field in the center of Niono, some 300 miles north of the Mali capital Bamako. French troops encircled a key Malian town on Friday, trying to stop radical Islamists from striking against communities closer to the capital and cutting off their supply line, a French official said. The move around Diabaly came as French and Malian authorities said that the city whose capture prompted the French military intervention in the first place was no longer in the hands of the extremists.

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