operation serval

French soldiers line up during a visit of Mali’s Prime Minster Django Cissoko at the Mali air force base near Bamako January 19, 2013. Islamist rebels in Mali abandoned the central town of Diabaly on Friday after fleeing a French air strike, military sources said, while West African troops arrived in Bamako to take on the insurgents in Mali’s north. France’s total troop count on the ground in Mali could top the 2,500 initially announced, the French defence minister said on Saturday. *******/Eric Gaillard