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German defence minister visits troops in Mali


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German defence minister visits troops in Mali

German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere German troops in Mali on Monday, who have been sent to support French soldiers fighting Islamist rebels.

Germany has approved the deployment of up to 330 of its soldiers in the West African country whose job is to provide logistical support to the French army, though no German combat forces are planned.

The French-led operation has killed scores of militants and destroyed vast caches of weapons.

The European Union mission aims to train more than 2,500 Malian soldiers to fight the more experienced al Qaeda linked militants.

French General Francois Lecointre, who is leading the mission, said turning Mali’s fractured army into a cohesive fighting force would require “a huge amount of work.”

The French army is expected to maintain a presence in the country after withdrawing most of its 4,000 troops.

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