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Pictures | Thu Jan 31, 2013 | 11:30pm IST

Timbuktu retaken

<p>A French flag hangs near a telephone pole on a street in Timbuktu January 31, 2013.   REUTERS/Benoit Tessier</p>

A French flag hangs near a telephone pole on a street in Timbuktu January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

A French flag hangs near a telephone pole on a street in Timbuktu January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

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<p>A French armored personnel carrier with soldiers patrols the area outside the Sankore Mosque, a world heritage site, in Timbuktu January 31, 2013.   REUTERS/Benoit Tessier</p>

A French armored personnel carrier with soldiers patrols the area outside the Sankore Mosque, a world heritage site, in Timbuktu January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

A French armored personnel carrier with soldiers patrols the area outside the Sankore Mosque, a world heritage site, in Timbuktu January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

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<p>A museum guard works around boxes which held ancient manuscripts which were partially damaged at the Ahmed Baba Institute, or Ahmed Baba Centre for Documentation and Research, in Timbuktu  January 31, 2013. The majority of Timbuktu's ancient manuscripts appear to be safe and undamaged after the Saharan city's 10-month occupation by Islamist rebel fighters, experts said on Wednesday, rejecting some media reports of their widespread destruction.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier</p>

A museum guard works around boxes which held ancient manuscripts which were partially damaged at the Ahmed Baba Institute, or Ahmed Baba Centre for Documentation and Research, in Timbuktu January 31, 2013. The majority of Timbuktu's ancient...more

A museum guard works around boxes which held ancient manuscripts which were partially damaged at the Ahmed Baba Institute, or Ahmed Baba Centre for Documentation and Research, in Timbuktu January 31, 2013. The majority of Timbuktu's ancient manuscripts appear to be safe and undamaged after the Saharan city's 10-month occupation by Islamist rebel fighters, experts said on Wednesday, rejecting some media reports of their widespread destruction. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

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<p>A museum guard displays a burnt ancient manuscript in its box at the Ahmed Baba Institute, or Ahmed Baba Centre for Documentation and Research, in Timbuktu  January 31, 2013.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier</p>

A museum guard displays a burnt ancient manuscript in its box at the Ahmed Baba Institute, or Ahmed Baba Centre for Documentation and Research, in Timbuktu January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

A museum guard displays a burnt ancient manuscript in its box at the Ahmed Baba Institute, or Ahmed Baba Centre for Documentation and Research, in Timbuktu January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

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<p>A museum guard displays a burnt ancient manuscript at the Ahmed Baba Institute, or Ahmed Baba Centre for Documentation and Research, in Timbuktu  January 31, 2013.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier</p>

A museum guard displays a burnt ancient manuscript at the Ahmed Baba Institute, or Ahmed Baba Centre for Documentation and Research, in Timbuktu January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

A museum guard displays a burnt ancient manuscript at the Ahmed Baba Institute, or Ahmed Baba Centre for Documentation and Research, in Timbuktu January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

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<p>Fishing pirogues from Timbuktu region dock on shore to sell fish in Mopti January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Fishing pirogues from Timbuktu region dock on shore to sell fish in Mopti January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Fishing pirogues from Timbuktu region dock on shore to sell fish in Mopti January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>Women sort fish caught in the Timbuktu region at a port in Mopti January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney</p>

Women sort fish caught in the Timbuktu region at a port in Mopti January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

Women sort fish caught in the Timbuktu region at a port in Mopti January 31, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

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<p>A Tuareg man holds a bullet near a destroyed vehicle belonging to Islamist rebels on the road between Diabaly and Timbuktu in Mali January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier</p>

A Tuareg man holds a bullet near a destroyed vehicle belonging to Islamist rebels on the road between Diabaly and Timbuktu in Mali January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

A Tuareg man holds a bullet near a destroyed vehicle belonging to Islamist rebels on the road between Diabaly and Timbuktu in Mali January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

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<p>The remains of weapons are pictured near a destroyed vehicle used by Islamist rebels on the road between Diabaly and Timbuktu in Mali January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier</p>

The remains of weapons are pictured near a destroyed vehicle used by Islamist rebels on the road between Diabaly and Timbuktu in Mali January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

The remains of weapons are pictured near a destroyed vehicle used by Islamist rebels on the road between Diabaly and Timbuktu in Mali January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

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<p>A destroyed vehicle used by Islamist rebels sits on a road between Diabaly and Timbuktu January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier</p>

A destroyed vehicle used by Islamist rebels sits on a road between Diabaly and Timbuktu January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

A destroyed vehicle used by Islamist rebels sits on a road between Diabaly and Timbuktu January 30, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

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<p>A Malian soldier displays ammunition seized from Islamists rebels after their departure, in Timbuktu January 29, 2013. French troops have taken control of the airport in the northern Malian town of Kidal, the last rebel stronghold in the north, the French army and a local official told Reuters on Wednesday. Kidal would be the last of northern Mali's major towns to be retaken by French forces after they reached Gao and Timbuktu earlier this week in a campaign to drive al Qaeda-linked Islamists from Mali's north, which it has said had become a safe haven for extremists.  REUTERS/Francois Rihouay</p>

A Malian soldier displays ammunition seized from Islamists rebels after their departure, in Timbuktu January 29, 2013. French troops have taken control of the airport in the northern Malian town of Kidal, the last rebel stronghold in the north, the...more

A Malian soldier displays ammunition seized from Islamists rebels after their departure, in Timbuktu January 29, 2013. French troops have taken control of the airport in the northern Malian town of Kidal, the last rebel stronghold in the north, the French army and a local official told Reuters on Wednesday. Kidal would be the last of northern Mali's major towns to be retaken by French forces after they reached Gao and Timbuktu earlier this week in a campaign to drive al Qaeda-linked Islamists from Mali's north, which it has said had become a safe haven for extremists. REUTERS/Francois Rihouay

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<p>A man accused of having collaborated with al Qaeda-linked Islamists is surrounded by residents in front of the Islamic police office in Timbuktu January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Francois Rihouay</p>

A man accused of having collaborated with al Qaeda-linked Islamists is surrounded by residents in front of the Islamic police office in Timbuktu January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Francois Rihouay

A man accused of having collaborated with al Qaeda-linked Islamists is surrounded by residents in front of the Islamic police office in Timbuktu January 29, 2013. REUTERS/Francois Rihouay

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<p>Boubacar Cisse, 25, a tour guide, smokes a cigarette as he poses in front of the former Islamic prison in Timbuktu January 29, 2013. Islamists rebels banned smoking in public when they were in control over the area. REUTERS/Francois Rihouay</p>

Boubacar Cisse, 25, a tour guide, smokes a cigarette as he poses in front of the former Islamic prison in Timbuktu January 29, 2013. Islamists rebels banned smoking in public when they were in control over the area. REUTERS/Francois Rihouay

Boubacar Cisse, 25, a tour guide, smokes a cigarette as he poses in front of the former Islamic prison in Timbuktu January 29, 2013. Islamists rebels banned smoking in public when they were in control over the area. REUTERS/Francois Rihouay

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<p>Chadian soldiers hold their weapons at the airport of the recently recaptured town of Gao January 28, 2013. The troops are part of a larger African force known as AFISMA, which is due to send more than 8,000 soldiers to Mali to aid in the country's fight against Islamist militants. French and Malian troops retook the major Saharan trading towns of Gao and Timbuktu at the weekend.  REUTERS/Adama Diarra</p>

Chadian soldiers hold their weapons at the airport of the recently recaptured town of Gao January 28, 2013. The troops are part of a larger African force known as AFISMA, which is due to send more than 8,000 soldiers to Mali to aid in the country's...more

Chadian soldiers hold their weapons at the airport of the recently recaptured town of Gao January 28, 2013. The troops are part of a larger African force known as AFISMA, which is due to send more than 8,000 soldiers to Mali to aid in the country's fight against Islamist militants. French and Malian troops retook the major Saharan trading towns of Gao and Timbuktu at the weekend. REUTERS/Adama Diarra

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<p>A Malian soldier wounded at the frontline receives medical treatment at a military clinic in Kati January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Malin Palm</p>

A Malian soldier wounded at the frontline receives medical treatment at a military clinic in Kati January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Malin Palm

A Malian soldier wounded at the frontline receives medical treatment at a military clinic in Kati January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Malin Palm

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<p>Malian soldiers sit in military vehicles in the recently recaptured town of Gao January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Adama Diarra</p>

Malian soldiers sit in military vehicles in the recently recaptured town of Gao January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Adama Diarra

Malian soldiers sit in military vehicles in the recently recaptured town of Gao January 27, 2013. REUTERS/Adama Diarra

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