France calls for efforts to tackle Islamists in Libya

By REUTERS
May 28, 2013 18:22

NIAMEY - France urged African nations on Tuesday to make a concerted effort to tackle a growing Islamist threat in the deserts of southern Libya.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, speaking on a visit to Niger where suicide bombers attacked a French-run uranium mine last week, said there were signs that Libya's lawless south was becoming a safe haven for Islamist groups in the Sahara.

A five-month French-led military campaign broke Islamists' hold over the northern two-thirds of Mali, killing hundreds of al Qaeda-linked fighters and pushing others into neighboring states.

Niger has said the Islamists who carried out Thursday's twin attacks on an Areva mine and a military barracks, which killed 25 people had crossed the border from Libya. Tripoli has denied this.


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