Mali Fighting

January 16, 2013 - 7:32 PM
French troops stand guard along the road leading from Markala to Niono, in Markala, approximately 40 km outside Segou, in central Mali, 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." Residents of Niono, a city in the center of Mali which is just south of a town that was overrun by the jihadists earlier this week, said they saw trucks of French soldiers arrive overnight. (AP Photo/Harouna Traore)