January 19, 2013 / 11:14 AM / 5 years ago

French troops on ground in Mali may top 2,500 - minister

PARIS (Reuters) - France’s total troop count on the ground in Mali could top the 2,500 initially announced, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Saturday.

Le Drian, speaking on France 3 television about the military intervention Paris launched last week to repel Islamist rebels, said that the French troop count on the ground in the African former colony had now reached 2,000.

Asked about the total expected deployment on the ground in Mali, Le Drian replied: “2,500 is what was initially announced, maybe that will be exceeded.”

Reporting by Brian Love and Jean-Baptiste Vey; Editing by Alison Williams

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