French Blast Rebels Out of Key Malian Town

The town of Niono used to be a sleepy villiage-- before it became a military base for French and Malian troops. The soldiers bring relief -- and much-needed bustle to local markets. But as French air strikes in neighbouring Diabaly send Islamists fleeing, Niono residents are now worried these retreating militants will hide in their villages. Islamists are reported to be abandoning vehicles, shaving beards and removing their turbans and traditional flowing dress to blend in with locals.

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