EU foreign ministers OK sending military training mission to Mali, no combat role foreseen

EU foreign ministers have approved sending a military training mission to the troubled African country of Mali, to shore up the Malian army and enable the country's government to regain control of all its territory.

Militant Islamists have taken control of the vast northern part of Mali, leading EU officials to worry that radicals there could develop plans for terrorist attacks unimpeded by any government policing.

France, Mali's former colonial master, has recently launched a military operation to wrest control of northern Mali from the Islamists, who are said to have ties to the al-Qaida terrorist organization. But French officials acknowledge they have encountered fiercer resistance than they had expected.

No combat role is envisioned for the EU training mission.