French soldiers make advances: Russia and Canada pitch in

Mali

Newscast Media ALGIERS—As French soldiers make advances toward the North in Islamist-held territory, both Russia and Canada have offered to support France’s military intervention in the Mali crisis.

“The deployment towards the north… which began 24 hours ago, is on course with troops inside the towns of Niono and Sevare,” French army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Emmanuel Dosseur told reporters.

Niono is about 350 kilometres north-east of the Malian capital and 60 kilometers south of Diabaly, which was seized nearly a week ago by Islamists and then heavily bombed by French planes.

“There is transportation that will be partly by the Africans themselves, partly by the Europeans and partly by the Canadians…and the Russians have proposed to provide means of transport for the French, so it’s fairly diverse,” Fabius told radio station Europe 1.

Only about 100 soldiers from a planned 5,800- strong African force have so far reached Mali, while France said it has 2,000 soldiers already on the ground.

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