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AFISMA / MICEMA / Serval

Africa Sustainable Conservation News

AlertNet

Chadian armoured column moves towards Niger-Mali border

* U.S. planes help fly in French soldiers and equipment

* “We stand by our French allies” – Pentagon spokesman

* Fears of wider jihadist threat after Algeria plant raid (Adds Pentagon spokesman, Nigerian president, U.N.’s Ban)

photowide

Malian soldiers carry a box of ammunition after searching through debris at a Malian military camp in Diabaly, Mali, January 21 2013. REUTERS/Joe Penney

By Abdoulaye Massalatchi and Richard Valdmanis

NIAMEY/BAMAKO, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Chadian forces advanced towards the Mali border on Tuesday as an African troop deployment and a U.S. military airlift swelled international support for French operations against Islamist rebels occupying the north of Mali.

The aim of the intervention is to prevent northern Mali from becoming a launchpad for international attacks by al Qaeda and its local allies in North and West Africa. Fears of this increased sharply after a hostage-taking…

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