Jan. 14 - Large Antonov transport planes are loaded with military equipment before heading to support French forces' intervention in Mali. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION).
STORY: France plans to increase its troops in Mali to 2,500 in the days ahead and is working to speed up the deployment of West African troops for a campaign against Islamist rebels, the government said on Monday.
A defense ministry spokesman told Reuters troops would be sent to bolster the 600 already deployed.
Al Qaeda-linked Islamist rebels launched a counter-offensive in Mali on Monday after four days of French air strikes on their northern strongholds, seizing the central town of Diabaly and promising to drag France into a brutal Afghanistan-style war.
Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said EU foreign ministers would meet this week to try to accelerate the arrival of a training mission for the Malian army.
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