Hammond: UK clear about the 'mission creep' risks

The Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has confirmed that 40 UK personnel will train the Malian army and a further 200 will perform a similar task with forces in other west African countries.

In response to fears that Britain could get drawn into the Mali conflict, Mr Hammond said:

"It is not our intention to deploy combat troops.

"We are very clear about the risks of mission creep and we have defined very carefully the support we are willing and able to provide to the French and the Malian authorities".

Philip Hammond i
Philip Hammond insisted the UK's role in Mali is not a "combat one". Credit: HoC


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.