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US begins transporting French troops, equipment 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.

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SEGOU, Mali — U.S. Africa Command says American planes have begun transporting French troops and equipment in support of the country's mission in Mali.

Tom Saunders, a spokesman for U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany said today that the U.S. Air Force C-17 transport began flights on Monday from the French base in Istres, France, to Bamako.

He said two flights arrived in Bamako on Monday and a third arrived early today.

Saunders said the missions will operate over the next several days. He said he could not give any details on how many more flights were envisioned for operational security reasons, and referred any questions about how much equipment and how many soldiers were being transported to the French Ministry of Defense.

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