FILE In this Feb. 7, 2013 file photo, a Malian soldier walks in Gao, northern Mali. Timbuktu has been hit by a prolonged battle between Islamic extremists and the Malian and French armies, residents and a Malian military spokesman said Sunday, March 31. The attack started Saturday night at about 10 p.m. local time when a jihadist suicide bomber blew himself up at a Malian military checkpoint at the western entrance to Timbuktu, and fighting continued Sunday, according to Capt. Samba Coulibaly, spokesman for the Malian military in Timbuktu. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)
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