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Friday, November 9, 2012

More on the Impending War in Mali

Malian troops backed by foreign air power will lead the assault to recapture Timbuktu and other northern cities from al Qaeda-linked militants, under a battle plan now being considered, Malian army sources said.

West African bloc ECOWAS is expected to submit a version of the plan to the United Nations Security Council for approval, paving the way for war in Mali's vast desert amid fears the region could become a new terrorist training ground.

"International forces will not do the ground fighting, that role will belong to the Malian army," a military officer familiar with the plan, who asked not to be named, said on Friday.

"Air strikes will be the responsibility of the international force," he said, adding foreign partners would also provide logistical and intelligence support and soldiers and police to secure areas captured by the Malian army.

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