US begins transporting French troops to Mali

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An unidentified man takes a picture of the charred remains of trucks used by radical Islamists on the outskirt of Diabaly, Mali, some 460kms (320 miles) North of the capital Bamako Monday Jan. 21, 2013. French and Malian troops took control Monday of the town of Diabaly, patrolling the streets in armored personnel carriers and inspecting the charred remains of a pickup truck with a mounted machine gun left behind by the fleeing militants. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

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DJENNE, Mali (AP) — Pentagon officials say the U.S. airlift of French forces to Bamako could continue for another two weeks.

It's expected to take about 30 C-17 flights to get everything there.

The U.S. Air Force is keeping between eight and 10 people at the airport to help with the incoming and outgoing flights.

These are the U.S. Air Force personnel who will stay only until the airlift is completed.

The U.S. Air Force already has flown five C-17 flights into Bamako, delivering more than 80 French troops and 124 tons of equipment.

The U.S. is not providing direct aid to the Malian military because the democratically elected government was overthrown last March in a coup.

The French-led operation to oust Islamic extremists from northern Mali began Jan. 11.

 
 
 

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