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“It basically said: ‘Help — France,’” Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., told reporters in describing Mr. Traore’s letter.

France’s U.N. ambassador, Gerard Araud, declined to say how his country would respond, telling reporters: “The nature of the answer I can’t tell you. It will be announced in Paris tomorrow.”

Mr. Hollande himself is expected to disclose the measures he plans to take.

From wire dispatches and staff reports