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French troops arrest suspected terrorists in Mali

August 13, 2014

PARIS (AP) — France’s military says French troops arrested three people near the Malian city of Timbuktu who are believed to be al-Qaida fighters posing a region-wide threat.

The spokesman for the French military force in the region, Lt. Col. Michel Sabatier, said Wednesday that French authorities are questioning the suspects and may hand them over to the Malian government. He said they were arrested Sunday.

Al-Qaida-linked forces took over Timbuktu and the rest of northern Mali in 2012. French-led troops dispersed them the following year, but sporadic violence has continued. France refocused the operation this month to concentrate on countering Islamic terrorists in Mali and neighboring countries.

Sabatier said the suspects posed a threat to Mali and beyond. He would not provide details.

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