Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada Sends C-17 to Mali, but Harper Says No Combat for Canadians

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada Sends C-17 to Mali, but Harper Says No Combat for Canadians

Article excerpt

Canada sends C-17 to Mali to help France

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OTTAWA - Canada is contributing one of its large C-17 military cargo planes to deliver supplies to the capital of Mali after a request from France.

But Prime Minister Stephen Harper insists no Canadian Forces personnel will be involved in any combat action in the landlocked West African country. And he says the transport plane commitment will be short.

An al-Qaida-linked group has seized the northern part of Mali and is advancing south.

The Canadian plane will be used to transport equipment and supplies into the Malian capital of Bamako, which is not in the combat zone.

France, which began air strikes last week against insurgents in the north, has ordered the immediate evacuation of all French nationals living in the Malian town of Segou.

"There is a serious situation in northern Mali, where there is a large territory now occupied by essentially terrorist entities, who are looking at expanding their influence throughout Africa," Harper said at a Montreal news conference. …

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