Canadian Special Forces Protecting Embassy In Mali

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By IBTimes Staff Reporter | January 29, 2013 10:52 PM EST

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said the special forces of the Canadian military are deployed in Mali to protect its embassy and not on a military combat mission.

"The special forces are not there to train Malian troops - and they are not involved in any combat role, as the government has repeatedly stressed," Harper told its House of Commons Monday, according to CBC News.

"Steps have been taken to ensure our mission and Canadian personnel are protected," CBC News quoted an un-named spokesperson for Foreign Affairs as saying.

It is not clear how many members of the special unit are in Mail but the group is said to protect the Canadian assets in Mali which include its embassy in the capital city of Bamako.

In the name of protest against France's intervention in Mali, a group of Islamist terrorist group kidnapped a large number of foreigners at a gas plant in Algeria. More than 36 foreigners, including a few Canadian nationals, were killed in the attack between terrorists and Algerian forces.

France and other African countries have mounted a military campaign to oust the rebels from the cities they have occupied.

Canadian International Co-operation Minister Julian Fantino is heading to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia according for a high-level international meeting on the conflict in Mali.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper Monday repeated that Canada would not become directly involved in any combat mission in Mali. However, Harper's government is providing the French the use of Canadian military transport- one C-7 Globemaster aircraft- to move troops and equipment into Mali until the middle of February.

The United Nations Security Council in December passed a resolution authorizing an African-led mission to attempt to restore peace and safety in Mali and prevent Mali's capital, Bamako, from being occupied by the terrorist group. 

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