(Reuters) - France plans to begin pulling troops out of Mali from March and will focus its operations on flushing out Islamist rebels in the north of the country, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Tuesday. "We will continue to act in the north where some terrorist havens remain," Fabius said in an interview for Wednesday's Metro newspaper. "I think that from March, if everything goes according to plan, the number of French troops should fall."

(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Angus MacSwan)