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Fri May 3, 2013 2:26PM
File photo shows rebels in northern Mali.

File photo shows rebels in northern Mali.

A group of British and Irish soldiers has been deployed to Mali to help France’s war on the West African country, UK media reports suggest. Thirty one soldiers from the Royal Marines, 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment and the Irish defence forces were dispatched to the war-ravaged country to purportedly train the Malian army. The British and Irish troops were sent to Mali as part of The European Union Training Mission (EUTM) for the African country. The EUTM in Mali, which was launched in February, is expected to continue for more than one year and involve around 500 troops from 22 EU member states. Major Simon Holden, from the Royal Irish, claimed, ''What we are here to do is form a battalion into a cohesive unit so that it's ready to go on operations at the end the 10-week package.” Earlier in March, some 40 British personnel were deployed to Mali to support France's aggressive operation. The UK has already contributed two heavy-lift C-17 transport planes and a Sentinel surveillance aircraft to the military offensive in the African nation. Paris launched the war on January 11 under the pretext of halting the advance of the fighters in the African country. The French-led war in Mali has caused a serious humanitarian crisis in northern areas of the country and has displaced thousands of people. SSM/MOS/HE
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