In this Nov. 24, 2012 photo, soldiers from a Malian army run 

In this Nov. 24, 2012 photo, soldiers from a Malian army run during a training exercise in the Barbe military zone, in Mopti, Mali. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 that France, Senegal and Nigeria have responded to an appeal from Mali's President Dioncounda Traore for help to counter an offensive by al-Qaida-linked militants who control the northern half of the country and are heading south. The U.N. chief said that assisting the Malian defense forces push back against the Islamist armed groups is "very important."(AP Photo/Francois Rihouay)
Associated Press
In this Nov. 24, 2012 photo, soldiers from a Malian army run during a training exercise in the Barbe military zone, in Mopti, Mali. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 that France, Senegal and Nigeria have responded to an appeal from Mali's President Dioncounda Traore for help to counter an offensive by al-Qaida-linked militants who control the northern half of the country and are heading south. The U.N. chief said that assisting the Malian defense forces push back against the Islamist armed groups is "very important."(AP Photo/Francois Rihouay)
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