Blair: West has 'no option but to intervene in Mali'

Tony Blair told ITV News that the West has "absolutely no option but to intervene in Mali."

"If we leave Mali to become effectively a terrorist state, then it won't be long at all before that problem lands on our doorstep," he said.

"We learned that through Afghanistan - we shouldn't have to learn it again."

He added: "Unfortunately, right throughout the whole of the north of Africa, going down into sub-Saharan Africa, this is now a major issue."

Read: French troops reclaim Malian city from militants

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French president in Mali visit

There was a hero's welcome for France's President Hollande when he arrived in Timbuktu. He was visiting the desert city in Mali, after its recapture from Islamic extremists.