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The French President Francois Hollande has arrived in Mali on a one-day visit to support French troops fighting a campaign against Islamist rebels.

Hollande, accompanied by his ministers for defence, foreign affairs and development, he flew into Sevare in central Mali.

Hollande later went on to Timbuktu, the famed Saharan trading town which was recaptured from the al Qaeda-allied fighters six days ago.

The French leader is also expected to outline the next phase of the mission for the French forces, which, in a three-week intervention launched at Mali’s request, have pushed the Islamist fighters into the desert and mountains of the remote northeast.

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