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Originally published Monday, February 18, 2013 at 1:27 AM

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EU launches military training mission in Mali

European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels are officially launching a mission to train the military in the African country of Mali.

The Associated Press

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BRUSSELS —

European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels are officially launching a mission to train the military in the African country of Mali.

The first people in the mission - about 70 - have already been sent to Mali so that they could begin working as advisers as soon as Monday's decision was made. EU officials say military instructors will be deployed before the end of March and training will start in April.

The mission is designed to help the government of Mali maintain control of the country.

French and African troops are working to wrest control of the vast northern part of the country from Islamic radicals and other rebel groups.

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