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French President Francois Hollande says that military action is not finished in Mali, where Islamist extremists have occupied the north of the country for the last nine months. One French pilot has died during the operation and the president said that around 100 rebels had been also been killed.

Meanwhile West African states including Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Niger are accelerating plans to send troops to Mali.

The African state, once a French colony, requested French invention when the rebel forces moved southwards, capturing the city of Konna and threatening the capital city Bamako.

President Hollande and EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso met today to discuss the situation.

At a press conference, President Hollande said: “The fight against terrorism also means we have to take all precautionary measures neccesary here in France. I have asked the Prime Minister to reinforce France’s national security alert system, and to establish surveillance of public buildings and transport infrastructure.”

His comments came after a spokesman for al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb said he considered French action in Mali as “crusader intervention”, and warned that if France continued it would be “digging the tombs of [its] sons”.

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