Stepped up security in Gao after attack by rebels

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A Malian boy climbs the wall of the police station in Gao, northern Mali, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, one day after Mujao fighters engaged in a firefight with Malian forces. French and Malian government forces have regained control of this northern city, after Islamic fighters fought a prolonged battle. Hospital officials and witnesses say three civilians died in the fighting Sunday. It is not known how many extremists and Malian troops died in the more than five hours of combat. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

GAO, Mali (AP) — Soldiers from Niger are patrolling on foot through downtown Gao and Malian troops are driving around in pickup trucks to secure the city in northern Mali.

The stepped-up security presence remains two days after radical Islamic fighters attacked the center of Gao and fought a five-hour gun battle with the Malian army.

On Tuesday soldiers concentrated around the waterfront area along the Niger River where the fighters invaded the city by boat.

Gao was controlled by the Islamic militants for 10 months until a French-led military intervention dislodged them at the end of January.