France plans to gradually increase troop numbers deployed to the African nation of Mali from 800 to 2500. France is currently in the middle of a 5-day airstrike aimed at Islamist insurgents attempting to take control over the capital city of Bamako. The United States has expressed support for the French operation in the country. According to State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, "It's absolutely critical to stop the offensive of terrorist groups towards southern Mali, to prevent the collapse of the government, and to accelerate the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions.”
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