The Seattle Times

ARNAUD ROINE / AP
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

France in 'direct combat' in Mali within hours

French armored vehicles drive to the north of Mali, outside Bamako, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. French troops pressed northward in Mali toward territory occupied by radical Islamists on Wednesday, military officials said, announcing the start of a land assault that will put soldiers in direct combat "within hours."