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Originally published January 11, 2013 at 12:31 PM | Page modified January 11, 2013 at 12:43 PM

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Mali president declares state of emergency

Mali's president has declared a state of emergency on national television a day after Islamists pushed the closest ever from the north toward government-held territory.

The Associated Press

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BAMAKO, Mali —

Mali's president has declared a state of emergency on national television a day after Islamists pushed the closest ever from the north toward government-held territory.

President Dioncounda Traore said late Friday that the declaration would remain in effect for 10 days and could be renewed.

The president called on mining companies and non-government organizations to give up their pickups and other trucks to the Malian military, raising questions about the capacity of the army.

Traore's emergency declaration comes a day after the Islamists who rule northern Mali seized the central town of Konna, located not far from the last town still under Malian government control.

On Friday, France also announced it had launched an air operation to aid Malian forces.

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