Mali president declares state of emergency

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Associated Press

Posted on January 11, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 11 at 4:03 PM

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — Mali's president has declared a state of emergency on national television a day after Islamists pushed the closest ever from the north toward government-held territory.

President Dioncounda Traore said late Friday that the declaration would remain in effect for 10 days and could be renewed.

The president called on mining companies and non-government organizations to give up their pickups and other trucks to the Malian military, raising questions about the capacity of the army.

Traore's emergency declaration comes a day after the Islamists who rule northern Mali seized the central town of Konna, located not far from the last town still under Malian government control.

On Friday, France also announced it had launched an air operation to aid Malian forces.

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