330 British troops to be sent to Mali

  • 29 January 2013
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Find out what's happening in Mali

The UK is sending 330 troops to Mali in west Africa to help fight rebels.

Last year, the government there lost control of the north of the country to Islamist militants - armed groups who want to force people to live according to their very strict version of Islam.

French troops have been helping the Malian government fight the militants but have asked for help.

The British troops will train local soldiers and help French soldiers transport their equipment.

But they will not be fighting on the frontline like they have been in Iraq and Afghanistan.

France used to rule Mali from the late 1890s until 1960. French troops have helped retake territory, including the ancient city of Timbuktu, from the rebels.

Thousands of soldiers from other west African countries are also due to arrive in the country to help end the fighting.