In this picture released by the French Army Communication Audiovisual office (ECPAD) French armored vehicules 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." (AP Photo/Arnaud Roine, ECPAD)

Associated Press
In this picture released by the French Army Communication Audiovisual office (ECPAD) French armored vehicules 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." (AP Photo/Arnaud Roine, ECPAD)
In this picture released by the French Army Communication Audiovisual office (ECPAD) French armored vehicules 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." (AP Photo/Arnaud Roine, ECPAD)
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