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Mali Campaigners Persuade 200 Young Jihadists to Disarm

Two hundred young Malian jihadists are ready to lay down their weapons as part of a new government and civil society deradicalization program, its organizers said Tuesday.

Some of the youths, aged between 16 and 30, had mounted attacks in the central Mopti region over the past year as members of the Macina Liberation Front, sources within the campaign said.

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Jihadists Attack U.N. Camp in Mali's Timbuktu

Suspected jihadists Friday attacked a U.N. military camp in the fabled city of Timbuktu in Mali's restive north, wounding at least one peacekeeper, security sources said.

Shots were still being heard in the area, a source in the U.N. peacekeeping force in Mali (MINUSMA) told AFP, indicating hours-long fighting.

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Three Security Officers Killed in Separate Mali Attacks

Two soldiers and a guard were killed in two separate attacks in Mali on Friday, government and army sources confirmed.

In the first attack, two soldiers were killed when an aid convoy they were escorting was ambushed in northern Mali on Friday, security sources said, a week after the kidnapping of a Swiss national in the same area.

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Two Soldiers Killed in Ambush on Malian Army

Two soldiers were killed when their patrol was ambushed in northern Mali on Friday, security sources said, a week after the kidnapping of a Swiss national in the same area.

A local military source said two of the assailants were also killed during the exchange, 70 kilometers (43 miles) from the desert caravan city of Timbuktu.

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Mali Gunmen Abduct Swiss Woman in Timbuktu

Gunmen abducted a Swiss woman overnight Thursday to Friday in Timbuktu in northern Mali, where she had lived for several years and was previously held by extremists, official sources told AFP.

"Beatrice, a Swiss citizen, was kidnapped in her home in Timbuktu by gunmen," a Timbuktu government official told AFP.

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Germany to Send 550 More Troops to Mali, Iraq Missions

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet decided Wednesday to deploy an additional 550 troops to missions against jihadist fighters in Mali and Iraq.

They will be deployed in Mali, to relieve French forces in their fight against jihadists, and in northern Iraq, to train Kurdish troops also battling IS.

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French Forces Kill or Capture 'about 10' Jihadists in Mali

French forces killed or captured around 10 members of a jihadist movement in heavy fighting at the weekend in northern Mali, the French defense ministry said Tuesday.

The troops of France's Barkhane force engaged in a four-hour firefight overnight Saturday near Menaka against the Al-Qaida-linked group Al-Murabitoun, the ministry said in a statement issued in Paris.

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Mali Reimposes State of Emergency for Year's End

Mali reimposed a nationwide state of emergency for the final 10 days of the year to head off any terror threats, after a deadly jihadist attack in the capital last month.

A government statement issued overnight said it was imposed because of "the evolution of the security situation in Mali and in the surrounding area."

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Mali Hotel Reopens after Deadly Islamist Siege

Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on Tuesday hailed the reopening of a luxury hotel at the center of a deadly Islamist attack, saying it was a victory over the scourge of jihadist violence.

Gunmen took guests and staff hostage at the 190-room Radisson Blu in Bamako on November 20 in a siege that left 20 people dead, most of them foreigners. The attack was later claimed by two extremist groups.

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Mali Hotel Attack Probe Delayed over Investigators' Differences

A probe into last month's hostage taking at a hotel in Mali's capital Bamako has been slowed by procedural differences between Malian investigators and their foreign counterparts, sources said Saturday.

The investigation into the November 20 attack on the Radisson Blu in Bamako which left 20 people dead is being carried out by Malian investigators as well as experts from the United Nations, France, Canada and Belgium.

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