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Monday
Oct292012

Hillary Clinton Urging Algeria to Back Military Intervention in Mali

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(NAIROBI, Kenya) -- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Algeria Monday, pressing officials in the North African country to do more to fight terrorism and support military intervention in neighboring Mali.

Islamist extremists have seized control of northern Mali where they are accused of numerous human rights abuses as they enforce strict Sharia law.  They are also working with an al Qaeda affiliate that originated in Algeria -- the same affiliate Clinton says is responsible for the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. 

Concerned about the spread of al Qaeda into Mali, the U.S. has said it would be willing to provide logistical support if an African-led force is sent to reconquer the north.  Algeria has been opposed to military intervention, concerned it would destabilize the border region in its country. 

A State Department spokesman said on Monday that Algeria is warming up to the idea of military intervention in Mali and that support from Algeria is critical in the fight against al Qaeda in the region.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio