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Food aid arrives in Timbuktu

Coming into land in Timbuktu are much-needed supplies to help the aid effort in northern Mali. Islamist rebels were driven out here January, but with supply routes still unstable the town is facing shortages of food. Officials say rice, cooking oil and other staples are scarce. The World Food Programme is now bringing in supplies via plane and boat to try and help those in need. They expect to reach around 145,000 beneficiaries in Timbuktu and Gao. The offensive to push militants out of Mali has taken back most of the territory seized last year. But French and allied forces have met with heavy resistance in some areas of the north. French defence officials say the rebels had hoped to make Mali into a base for militant activity.

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