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The Boston Globe

World

French, Mali rebels in fierce struggle

PARIS — France’s defense minister said Tuesday that French troops are involved in ‘‘very violent fighting’’ in the mountains of northern Mali and that it is too early to talk about a quick pullout from the West African country, despite the growing cost of the intervention.

The fighting against Islamic extremists in the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains has been going on for days. A clash in the area killed 23 soldiers from neighboring Chad on Friday, according to a letter from President Francois Hollande of France, expressing condolences to his Chadian counterpart.

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