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French forces reported to begin Mali combat

Posted: January 17, 2013 at 1:42 a.m.

French soldiers battled Islamist occupiers of a desert village in central Mali on Wednesday, a Malian army colonel said, in the first direct ground combat involving Western troops since France began its military operation last week to help wrest Mali back from a militant advance.

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Front Section, Pages 5 on 01/17/2013

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