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3,000 troops due in Mali after coup

West Africa's regional bloc will be sending at least 3,000 troops to Mali following last month's coup, an official in Ivory Coast said.

The announcement was made late on Thursday by the country's deputy defence minister Paul Koffi Koffi.

A military official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter said the forces will retrain and re-equip Mali's armed forces.

Mutinous soldiers overthrew Mali's democratically elected president last month, though the junta has since handed over power to an interim civilian government.

However, the country is battling insecurity in the north where separatist rebels have declared independence, and militants are trying to impose strict Islamic law.

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