November 20, 2015 / 12:02 PM / 4 years ago

50 French elite police forces to travel to Mali on Friday

PARIS (Reuters) - Fifty elite armed French police officers will head to Bamako on Friday after Islamist gunmen attacked a luxury hotel and took hostages in the Malian capital, a gendarmerie spokesman said.

“The departure is imminent,” said the spokesman.

Forty of the men are from the GIGN, (National Gendarmerie Intervention Group), an elite armed group trained to intervene in such circumstances. The other 10 are forensic and criminal experts, he said.

They are going “to advise and support Malian security forces in terms of intervention,” an interior ministry spokesman said.

Reporting By John Irish and Emmanuel Jarry; Editing by Leigh Thomas

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