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Algeria sends troops to Mali border to meet Al Qaida fleeing French strikes

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CAIRO — Algeria has bolstered its military presence along the
southern border.

Security sources said the Algerian Army was ordered to send thousands of
troops along the southern border with Mali.
The new troops were also expected to track AQIM and related units
believed to be flowing from both Libya and Mali.

The sources said AQIM units were believed to have fled Mali amid French
air strikes. They said the Algerian Army was ordered to open fire on
suspected insurgents and attack strongholds.

They said the reinforcements were ordered in wake of the attack on the nation’s largest liquefied natural
gas facility in mid-January.

“Most of the Army reinforcements consist of elite forces,” a source

The sources cited the Al Qaida Organization in the Islamic Maghreb on
the Ein Amenas LNG plant, located 1,600 kilometers south of Algiers. They said AQIM exploited the light security around Ein Amenas as well as in other areas of southern Algeria.

The sources said the Army was examining reports that the attackers of Ein Amenas escaped with five hostages.

Algeria has also deployed new forces of the Border Guard along the
frontier with Libya. The sources said many if not most of the AQIM fighters
at Ein Amenas came from Libya.



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