France to cut Mali troop numbers to 1,000 by year-end

PARIS - France will reduce its troop numbers in Mali to 2,000 by July and 1,000 by the end of the year, down from 4,000 at present, President Francois Hollande said on Thursday.
Hollande said France was determined that Mali, where its soldiers have been helping Malian and other African forces drive back Islamist rebels, should hold elections in July.