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Many people in Mali say they are relieved at the French intervention to try to halt the Islamist advance.

Schools in and around Bamako have reopened. They were closed because of concern over security and after street demonstrations in which some students became involved.

However there are fears that Islamist groups may try to launch an attack on the capital.

Security has been stepped up at the French embassy because of fears of retaliation.

Life has been disrupted for the 6,000 French nationals living in Bamako.

“We’re constantly waiting, it builds up anxiety and uncertainty. We never know, and we hope now that the intervention has started, things will go back to normal soon” said Viviane Vincent, A French resident of Bamako for 15 years.

Unlike Malian schools, the French secondary school in Bamako remains closed, despite the presence of three officers from France’s elite anti-terrorist police.

But only a small number of French residents have chosen to return to France.

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