French troops in armored vehicles and machine gun-mounted pickups moved northward Wednesday to bolster Malian army units fighting Islamist guerrillas entrenched in the beleaguered town of Diably.
The troop movements, recorded by journalists on the scene, set the stage for what seemed likely to be French troops’ first major engagement on the ground since President Francois Hollande ordered a major military intervention in Mali six days ago. Some reports said French special forces advisers were already in the city battling alongside the Malian soldiers. . .