African troops due in Mali as French jets stop Islamists

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The first troops promised by African nations were expected in Mali on Sunday to join local forces who, backed by French air support, have driven back an advance by Islamist fighters.

Burkina Faso, Niger and Senegal on Saturday each pledged 500 troops for an African-led intervention force.

Ivory Coast's African Integration Minister Ally Coulibaly, speaking for the West African bloc ECOWAS, said "We are not letting up the pressure. It is the reconquest of north Mali that has just begun."

On Saturday French troops arrived in the capital Bamako, flying in from bases in Ivory Coast and Chad, a Malian officer said.AFP

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