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posted: 1/22/2013 9:41 AM

U.S. begins transporting French troops to Mali

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  • Children and adults alike play soccer on a dusty field in Segou, central Mali, some 240 km (140 miles) from Bamako Monday Jan. 21, 2013. French troops in armored personnel carriers rolled through the streets of Diabaly on Monday, winning praise from residents of this besieged town after Malian forces retook control of it with French help a week after radical Islamists invaded. The Islamists also have deserted the town of Douentza, which they had held since September, according to a local official who said French and Malian forces arrived there on Monday as well.

      Children and adults alike play soccer on a dusty field in Segou, central Mali, some 240 km (140 miles) from Bamako Monday Jan. 21, 2013. French troops in armored personnel carriers rolled through the streets of Diabaly on Monday, winning praise from residents of this besieged town after Malian forces retook control of it with French help a week after radical Islamists invaded. The Islamists also have deserted the town of Douentza, which they had held since September, according to a local official who said French and Malian forces arrived there on Monday as well.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

SEGOU, Mali -- U.S. Africa Command says American planes have begun transporting French troops and equipment in support of the country's mission in Mali.

Tom Saunders, a spokesman for U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany said Tuesday that the U.S. Air Force C-17 transport began flights on Monday from the French base in Istres, France, to Bamako.

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He said two flights arrived in Bamako on Monday and a third arrived Tuesday morning.

Saunders said the missions will operate over the next several days. He said he could not give any details on how many more flights were envisioned for operational security reasons, and referred any questions about how much equipment and how many soldiers were being transported to the French Ministry of Defense.

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