Chinooks to stay in Mali

Prime minister Theresa May has announced that the UK's Chinook helicopters will remain in Mali to provide support for French troops aiming to tackle terrorism.

Three of the helicopters and 100 members of the armed forces have been in the African nation since last year, allowing ground forces to operate more effectively across the Sahel region.

Now, they are to extend their tour by at least another six months, where they will lead the fight against violent extremism, Al Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State.

"By providing essential support to our French partners our Armed Forces are helping to build stability and deny terrorists a haven from which to plan attacks," said defence secretary Penny Mordaunt.

In 2017, Mali's government joined those of Chad, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania in announcing an agreement to establish a joint counter-terrorism force to battle extremism and jihadists.

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