Thomson ReutersJanuary 25, 2013 06:45
* Malian army reaches town of Hombori - sources
* African troops prepare to join French-led offensive (Adds details, background)
By Richard Valdmanis
SEGOU, Mali, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Government forces advanced into northern Mali on Friday and reached the town of Hombori, some 160 km (100 miles) south of the Islamist rebel stronghold of Gao, after French air strikes drove back the militants, military sources said.