UK to Discuss Offering More Help to French Forces in Mali

The UK government is to discuss offering more help to French forces fighting rebels in Mali. Defence Minister David Cameron has said there could be further assistance with transport and surveillance. Two military aircraft have already been loaned to the French.

The Ministry of Defence says there are no plans for a ground combat role, according to the (BBC). Following British deaths in an attack on a gas plant in Algeria by militants, Cameron said North Africa was becoming a "magnet for jihadists". 

Concerns about the growing influence of al-Qaeda in North Africa have been heightened following the deployment of French troops to tackle militant groups linked to the network in Mali and the Algerian hostage crisis. 

Militants behind the Algeria attack, in which at least 48 foreign hostages died, have called on France to end their intervention in Mali.