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French soldiers from the 21st Rima check the identity of a Malian man... News Photo2012-2013 Northern Mali Conflict,Adult,Africa,Airfield,Armed Forces,Army,Army Soldier,Bamako,Civilian,Conflict,Driving,French Army,French Culture,Horizontal,Identity,Mali,Men,Military,Motorbike,People,War,Weaponry,Young Adult,Young MenPhotographer Collection: AFP 2013 AFPFrench soldiers from the 21st Rima check the identity of a Malian man driving a motorcycle near the Malian army 101 airbase, where the French troops are stationed, on January 18, 2013, near Bamako. France now has 1,800 troops on the ground in Mali, inching closer to the goal of 2,500 it plans to deploy in its African former colony, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said today. That was 400 more than a day earlier, said the minister as he met with French special forces in the western port of Lorient. The troops have been sent to help the Malian army regain control of the north from Islamist groups. AFP PHOTO / ERIC FEFERBERG (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images)