There are 3,500 French troops involved in the operation and 2,900 Africans, according to the latest figures from the French Defense Ministry.
Mali's military was severely affected by a military coup last year coup and has a reputation for disorganization and bad discipline. Malian soldiers have been accused of fatally shooting civilians suspected of links to the Islamists. The military has promised to investigate the allegations.
Associated Press writers Andrew Meldrum in Johannesburg; Baba Ahmed in Segou, Mali; Lori Hinnant in Paris; and Andrew Drake and Jerome Delay in Gao, Mali contributed to this report.
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