French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (L) speaks with Algeria's Chief of Staff General Ahmed Gaid Salah upon his arrival at the Houari-Boumediene International Airport in Algiers, on May 20, 2014. AFP PHOTO/FAROUK BATICHE
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France has delayed plans to redeploy 3,000 soldiers to fight militants across West Africa, saying it first needs to help deal with a fresh outbreak of violence in northern Mali.Paris had hoped to move the troops from its former colony Mali and other bases to target Islamist groups operating between southern Libya, northern Chad and northern Niger. France originally sent troops into Mali after al Qaeda-linked Islamists took advantage of a Tuareg-led rebellion and seized control of the country's north in 2012 .The Malian army was preparing to launch an assault on the northern town of Kidal, where at least eight soldiers and eight civilians including six government officials were killed when rebels attacked the regional governor's office on Saturday while Prime Minister Mousse Mara was in the town.
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