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UK sends troops to Mali to support French forces

The UK has decided to deploy about 330 military personnel to Mali and West Africa to support French forces, No 10 has said.

This includes as many as 40 military advisers who will train soldiers in Mali, and 200 British soldiers to be sent to neighboring African countries, also to help train the Malian army.

French-led forces are continuing their offensive against Islamist militants who seized northern Mali last year.

International donors have pledged $455.53 million to tackle militants.

The 330 military personnel comprises of 200 to West African nations, 40 military advisers to Mali, 70 on an RAF Sentinel surveillance aircraft and 20 on a C17 transport plane. None will have a combat role.

The UK has decided to deploy about 330 military personnel to Mali and West Africa to support French forces 350x232 photo

The UK has decided to deploy about 330 military personnel to Mali and West Africa to support French forces

A conference taking place in Brussels is expected to decide which countries will contribute troops for an EU military training mission for Mali and discuss details of the mission.

Meanwhile, French-led troops are consolidating their position in the historic Malian city of Timbuktu after seizing it from Islamist extremists. They are then expected to focus on the last rebel stronghold, Kidal. They seized Gao, northern Mali’s biggest city, on Saturday.

Islamist militants took the north of the country last year, but have been losing ground since French forces launched an operation earlier this month.

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