Senegal to send 150 paramilitary police to Mali

Senegalese President Macky Sall said Friday his country will send 150 paramilitary police officers to Mali, in addition to 500 soldiers already deployed as part of a force battling radical Islamists.

"Aside from the 500 Senegalese soldiers sent as part of the international force, Senegal's paramilitary police will also send a contingent of 150 members," Sall said in comments published by the state news agency.

"These officers will join the United Nations police in securing liberated towns."

He was speaking during the departure of the third and final group of soldiers to the neighbouring country.

Some 8,000 soldiers have been pledged by African countries to join the offensive against the Islamists, and take over from the French forces leading the operation. The UN is mulling incorporating them into an official peacekeeping force.