UN increases troop levels in Mali by 2,500

The United Nations is increasing its peacekeeping force in Mali by more than 2,500 troops.

The move is an effort to counter increasing attacks by Islamic extremists on civilians and peacekeepers in the west African country and pick up momentum toward enabling the peace agreement last year between the government and rebels.

The resolution, which the 15-member Security Council passed unanimously, raises force levels to 13,290 military troops and 1,920 police personnel, up from its current levels of about 11,240 military personnel and 1,440 police.

French Ambassador and current Security Council President Francois Delattre, whose country drafted the resolution, said the resolution also gives the peacekeeping troops more leeway to respond aggressively to threats and clarifies the force's mandate to support the implementation of the peace agreement.