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A malian Special Force soldier stands next to a machine gun during... News PhotoAfrica,Armed Forces,Army Soldier,Conflict,Former,France,Gao Region,Gun,Horizontal,Islam,Kilometre,Large,Machine Gun,Machinery,Mali,Military,Standing,Tank,Valley,War,WeaponryPhotographer Collection: AFP 2013 AFPA malian Special Force soldier stands next to a machine gun during the Operation Gustav, a hunt for Islamist fighters in a valley in northern Mali and one of France's largest military operations during its three-month intervention in its former colony, on April 9, 2013, 105 km North of Gao. Operation Gustav comes with France preparing to withdraw three-quarters of the 4,000 troops it deployed in January to block a feared advance on the Malian capital Bamako by Al Qaeda-linked insurgents. AFP PHOTO / JOEL SAGET (Photo credit should read JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)