Canada extends Mali transport mission

Malian gendarmes stand by a Canadian Air Force C-17 carrying French army equipment at the airport...

Malian gendarmes stand by a Canadian Air Force C-17 carrying French army equipment at the airport in Bamako January 22, 2013. (REUTERS/Eric Gaillard)

DANIEL PROUSSALIDIS, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 5:50 PM ET

OTTAWA - Canada's mission to help transport troops and military equipment to Mali to fight Islamist forces there will carry on until Feb. 15.

"Our government has a strong record of supporting international efforts to combat terrorist activities," Defence Minister Peter MacKay said in a statement. "This Canadian military asset provides France an important strategic lift capacity that enables them to pursue a more stable and secure region."

Canada initially signed up to have a C-17 transport plane available to help France for one week, as the French lead a two-week-old international effort to strike back at Sharia-imposing forces that threaten to overrun Mali.

The Canadian help would have ended Thursday without the extension.


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