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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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S.African Charity Gets New Video of Two Hostages Held in Mali

A South African charity said Tuesday it had obtained fresh video footage of a South African and a Swede who were kidnapped in Mali four years ago and are being held by Al-Qaida.

Gift of the Givers, a disaster relief charity, earlier this year got involved in negotiations for the release of Stephen McGowan, a South African citizen and Johan Gustafsson, a Swedish national.

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Report: Four Dead as Migrant Truck Attacked in Mali

Armed men attacked a lorry carrying migrants in northern Mali, killing four people and wounding six, U.N. and medical sources told AFP on Monday.

Four men on motorbikes opened fire on the lorry as it traveled towards Kidal, in the country's far northeast, a medical source said, citing witness accounts.

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Three Dead in Rocket Attack on U.N. Base in North Mali

Two U.N. peacekeepers and a civilian were killed and 14 others were injured in a rocket attack Saturday on a U.N. base in the northeastern Malian town of Kidal, U.N. and local sources said.

"Our camp in Kidal was attacked early this morning by terrorists using rockets," said an official from the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA), adding that two Guinean U.N. peacekeepers and a civilian contractor were killed. A local official confirmed the report.

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Germany to Send 650 Troops to Mali to Relieve France

Germany will send up to 650 soldiers to Mali, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday, to provide some relief to France in its global fight against the Islamic State jihadists.

Von der Leyen made the announcement hours before German Chancellor Angela Merkel travels to Paris to meet President Francois Hollande to discuss support in the wake of the deadly November 13 attacks by the Islamic State group in the French capital.

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U.N. Staffer Killed in Mali Attack on Peacekeeping Convoy

A U.N. employee was killed Tuesday in an attack on a peacekeeping convoy in northern Mali, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said.

The attackers used explosives on the road from Goundam to Timbuktu where the vehicles from the U.N. MINUSMA force were traveling, he said.

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