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Jean Yves Le Drian

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WORLD
January 14, 2013 | By Kim Willsher
PARIS  - A column of about 30 French tanks and several troop carriers, accompanied by a helicopter, crossed into Mali from Ivory Coast in an international mission to take control of the African nation's north from Islamist extremists, French media reported Monday night. About 550 French troops were in Mali on an operation that the Defense Ministry said it expects to last “several weeks.” France has 6,000 citizens in Mali and is advising them to leave, but has not organized an evacuation.
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WORLD
January 15, 2013 | By Kim Willsher
PARIS -- France will gradually increase the number of soldiers deployed in the fight against Islamist insurgents in the West African nation of Mali to 2,500, a Defense Ministry official told journalists on Tuesday.  The report suggests that France was prepared for a larger and longer campaign in its former colony than previously thought. The official, said to be close to Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, told Agence France-Presse that the buildup of French forces in Mali would be "progressive.
WORLD
December 9, 2013 | By David S. Cloud
WASHINGTON - The U.S. military will fly about 850 African Union troops to the Central African Republic this week to assist French soldiers trying to quell street battles by rival militias in the country's capital, the Pentagon announced Monday. Two U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo planes will ferry the troops and their equipment from Bujumbura, capital of Burundi, to Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, a landlocked former French colony. The airlift operation is scheduled to begin by Tuesday and last until the end of the week.
WORLD
January 12, 2013 | By Kim Willsher
PARIS -- A French secret service agent kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists in Somalia was killed in an attempt to free him, the government here said Saturday. The French Defense Ministry said Denis Allex was fatally shot by his Al Shabab captors in the early hours Saturday during a commando raid by French forces. At least one French soldier was killed, as well as 17 Islamic militants, the government said. Allex, an agent for the Direction Generale de la Security Exterieure, had been held hostage since being snatched in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, in July 2009.
WORLD
May 26, 2013 | By Kim Willsher, Los Angeles Times
PARIS - An attack on a French soldier who was stabbed in the neck while patrolling outside a Paris train station appears to have been an act of terrorism, but there are no clear links to the hacking death of a British soldier in London last week, authorities said Sunday. French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said it was evident that the victim was targeted because he was a soldier. Interior Minister Manuel Valls told France 5 television there were "elements" that led police to believe it was a terrorist act. "I cannot say more at this stage as the inquiry has only just begun," he said.
WORLD
May 26, 2013 | By Kim Willsher
PARIS--French anti-terrorist investigators are hunting for a man who stabbed a soldier in the throat at a busy Paris shopping and transport center. Detectives are also examining whether there is a link between the attack and the killing of a British soldier who was hacked to death in London on Wednesday. The 23-year-old French soldier, Pfc. Cedric Cordier, was patrolling the busy underground corridors beneath the La Defense arch in the French capital's business district with two other soldiers when an attacker approached him from behind shortly before 6 p.m. on Saturday, authorities said.
WORLD
January 26, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
SEGOU, Mali - French and Malian forces on Saturday drove Al Qaeda-linked Islamists out of a key city in northern Mali, a major advance in France's campaign against insurgents in the West African nation. The French military in Paris announced the capture of Gao, according to news agency reports. Gao is the largest city in the north and the most important Islamist stronghold to fall since French forces arrived this month. The fall of Gao followed an operation involving French special forces, who took control of the airport and a bridge outside the city.
WORLD
November 26, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- French officials said Tuesday that they would deploy troops to the Central African Republic amid reports of violent chaos and warnings that the country could be sliding toward a sectarian civil war. The French force would support African peacekeepers and wait for a United Nations resolution authorizing the deployment, expected next week, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told French radio. Fabius last week warned that the country was on the verge of genocide.
WORLD
August 27, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
The United States has naval and air forces massed in the Mediterranean Sea and poised to strike Syria if President Obama gives the order, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Tuesday. In an interview with BBC television during a trip to Southeast Asia, Hagel said Obama had asked the Pentagon for "all options for all contingencies," and that American and allied forces are in position to mete out any ordered punitive measures against Syrian President Bashar Assad. Hagel said the White House was waiting for final confirmation from U.N. inspectors of a rash of suspected poison gas attacks in rebel-held Damascus suburbs on Aug. 21. “I think the intelligence will conclude that it wasn't the rebels who used it, and there'll probably be pretty good intelligence to show that the Syria government was responsible - but we'll allow the time to come together to provide that information,” Hagel told the BBC during a visit to the sultanate of Brunei.
WORLD
January 20, 2013 | By Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times
CAIRO - An Al Qaeda operative known as the "Uncatchable" has claimed responsibility for the attack on an Algerian gas complex that led to the deaths of at least 23 foreign hostages and raised new fears of Islamic extremism in North Africa. The comments by Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a veteran Islamic militant and arms trafficker, came as the U.S., Britain and other countries sought to learn the fate of their citizens after Algerian authorities announced Sunday that the hostage death toll was expected to rise.
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