HT: ABC News
The French-led intervention into the Malian conflict has yielded its greatest victory thus far: the successful entrance and Islamist evacuation of the ancient trade city of Timbuktu, grounded by Malian soldiers and backed by French helicopters and paratroopers.
Timbuktu's liberation (note: the city is still not entirely occupied by Malian and French soldiers right now, as the allied force is still clearing it of Islamist fighters, most of whom fled to the desert) spurred celebration among the thousands of Timbuktu refugees residing in Bamako, realizing at long last a hope of freedom returning to their besieged home.
Although still a long way from winning this conflict and beating down the Islamist threat, the joint French-Malian force, with supporting African soldiers, are moving in the right direction - pushing their adversaries deeper into Southern Mali and liberating more cities and villages that have been imprisoned by the Islamist-led Taureg rebellion for nearly a year.
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