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France ramps up Sahel military presence to counter jihadist threat

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France said Sunday it was boosting its military presence in the Sahel by adding a further 600 troops to its 4,500-strong operation in Mali and four other countries in the region.


Defence Minister Florence Parly said in a statement that the bulk of the reinforcements would be deployed by the end of the month in the border zone linking Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger to counter jihadist violence.


France, seeking to underline its regional commitment after losing 13 of its own troops in a deadly air collision last November, will also send around 100 armoured vehicles to the region, a military source told AFP. 

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