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Originally published Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 1:38 PM

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AP PHOTOS: Fighting in Mali continues

Burned out vehicles and scattered bullets dot the streets of a central Malian town after radical Islamists retreated following days of French airstrikes. The Malian military announced late Saturday that the government was now controlling Diabaly, marking an important accomplishment for the French-led offensive to oust the extremists from northern and central Mali. Also Sunday, French forces extended their deployment northward up from the central town of Markala, reinforcing their presence in the towns of Niono and Mopti, said Col. Thierry Burkhard, a French military spokesman.

Associated Press

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Burned out vehicles and scattered bullets dot the streets of a central Malian town after radical Islamists retreated following days of French airstrikes. The Malian military announced late Saturday that the government was now controlling Diabaly, marking an important accomplishment for the French-led offensive to oust the extremists from northern and central Mali. Also Sunday, French forces extended their deployment northward up from the central town of Markala, reinforcing their presence in the towns of Niono and Mopti, said Col. Thierry Burkhard, a French military spokesman.

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The AP's Africa chief photographer Jerome Delay has been the region covering the conflict. Here is a gallery of his striking images.

Follow Delay on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jeromedelay

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