Thomson ReutersFebruary 6, 2013 12:16
* French patrols hunt Islamists in surrounding desert scrub
* Follow-up African military force is taking time to arrive
* Timbuktu residents, still fearful, want French to stay
* French wary of getting bogged down, pullout from March
By David Lewis
TIMBUKTU, Mali, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Patrolling Timbuktu's maze of mud-brick houses, the French troops quickly lost their way, their jeeps stuck, wheels spinning, in the sand of the ancient Saharan trading town.