France to send drones to Mali
France is planning to send drones into Mali as part of an international intervention to free the West African country from al-Qaida-backed insurgents who control large swaths of its territory, according to reports.
A French defence official said the country was moving surveillance drones to the region as part of secretive plans with the US, amid increasing fears that, if left unchecked, the crisis could serve as a launch pad for terrorist attacks on its own soil.
Speaking to the Associated Press, the official said on Monday that France was discussing plans with the US for drones, intelligence-gathering and security in Africa's Sahel region. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, said that Germany would be prepared to train Malian security forces and would consider providing "material and logistical support".