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The Boston Globe

World

Malian forces make gains to reclaim town from rebels

BAMAKO, Mali — Backed by French airstrikes, Malian forces appeared close to recapturing a key central town in Mali where bands of Al Qaeda-linked fighters had holed up, France’s defense minister said Sunday.

The French military has spent the last nine days helping the West African nation of Mali prevent the spread of a jihadist rebellion in its vast northern desert. The comments Sunday from Jean-Yves Le Drian, however, appeared to cast some doubt on local military claims that the town of Diabaly had already been recaptured from the Islamists.

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