Thursday, May 16, 2013

U.S. military instructors to train African troops for Mali in Niger

U.S. military instructors in Niger will train African forces participating in a U.N.-backed offensive against al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants in neighboring Mali, senior military officers said on Thursday.

The United States and several European nations have backed a French-led military intervention which since January 11 has driven militant insurgents out of the towns of northern Mali. Pockets of Islamist resistance remain in Mali's desert north.

The U.S. military did not participate in the ground offensive but aided the operation by transporting troops and providing intelligence information from drones based in Niger.