- Associated Press - Thursday, June 29, 2017

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The U.N. Security Council has unanimously approved a resolution calling on the more than 15,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force in Mali to help the beleaguered country’s military re-establish security across Malian territory.

The resolution adopted Thursday night extends the mandate for the U.N. force until June 30, 2018, and keeps its current ceiling at up to 13,289 military personnel and 1,920 police.

It asks the U.N. peacekeepers to coordinate with a 5,000-strong force from five African nations including Mali that will be fighting the growing threat from extremists in the vast Sahel region and with a 4,000-member French force fighting extremists in the five countries.

A French-led intervention drove out Islamic extremists from strongholds in northern Mali in 2013 but sporadic attacks continue to target U.N. and French troops.

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