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US Africa command chief in Mauritania

Thursday - 9/27/2012, 1:42pm  ET

NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania (AP) - U.S. Africa command head Gen. Carter Ham met with Mauritania's president and an official says the two are discussing a possible military intervention, likely West African-led, in north Mali against al-Qaida-linked group members and their allies.

Tuareg rebels helped overtake Mali's north earlier this year after a coup in Mali's capital. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and Islamist allies later took over the territory.

The official spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. No further details were available.

Mali's interim government has asked for support to restructure its military. The European Union says it is considering requests to support West African-led military intervention.

Mauritania in August said it will not intervene militarily in the north Africa region, but it has conducted several operations against AQIM bases in response to threats to the country's interests.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)