French-led troops in Mali now control the ancient city of Timbuktu, the city of Gao and the swath in between that was an Islamist stronghold for almost a year, the French Defense Ministry said.
“We are winning in Mali,” French President Francois Hollande said at a news conference Monday, but he added that militants still control parts of the north.
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Hollande did not say how long France will maintain troops in its former colony.
The country has 2,150 soldiers on Malian soil, with 1,000 more troops supporting the operation from elsewhere. . .