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    France Asks Belgium to Keep Military Presence in Mali Amid Hostage Crisis

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    Gunmen Take Hostages in Bamako Hotel (23)
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    France has sent an official request to Belgium to maintain its military support mission in Mali, local media reported Friday citing a Belgian Defense Ministry source.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the Belga news agency, the request was made in connection with the ongoing hostage crisis in the Malian capital Bamako, where 125 guests and 12 employees are being held in the Radisson Blu hotel by militants. The hotel has been surrounded by Malian security forces.

    Around 80 Belgian servicemen are in Mali as part of Europe's EUTM Mali mission since 2013. The mission aims to train and advice Mali's armed forces, and has not taken part in military action in the country's north. A total of 32 European Union countries have contributed military personnel to the mission.

    Gunmen Take Hostages in Bamako Hotel (23)


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    hostage crisis, Belgium, France, Mali
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