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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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Mali and Neighbors in Mourning as Siege Hotel Yields Clues

Mali began three days of national mourning Monday for the victims of a jihadist siege at a luxury hotel that left at least 19 dead, with neighboring Senegal, Mauritania and Guinea joining in solidarity.

"The investigation is advancing," said prosecutor Boubacar Sidiki Samake, who is in charge of the anti-terrorist probe.

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At Least 27 Dead as Gunmen Seize Over 100 Hostage at Mali Hotel, Qaida-linked Group Claims Attack

Jihadist gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in Mali's capital Friday, firing automatic weapons and seizing more than 100 guests and staff in a hostage-taking that left at least 27 people dead.

Special forces staged a dramatic floor-by-floor rescue at the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, according to local television and security sources, to end the nine-hour siege.

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No Country for Young Men: Mali Loses Youth to Migrant Crisis

Once bustling with sinewy young men like any other farming village in rural Mali, Kodjan is starting to look distinctly grey.

Little by little, the demographics of the settlement are altering as its youth join the exodus of African migrants looking for a better life in Europe.

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Mali Armed Groups Sign Peace Deal

Former Tuareg rebels in northern Mali and rival pro-government armed groups said they sealed a peace deal Thursday to end hostilities after days of talks.

Mali was hit by violence between the two sides in August and September despite a peace deal signed earlier this year.

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Drug Trafficking Fueling Mali Conflict, Minister

Drug trafficking is a major problem fueling the conflict in Mali and impeding the peace process, the country's foreign minister said Thursday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

"Drug trafficking is really a major concern," Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop told reporters after a U.N. meeting on Mali.

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