Canada Not Looking at Mali Military Mission, Harper Says

The Canadian government is not considering participating in a direct military mission in the African country of Mali, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said.

Harper made the comment following a meeting with Benin President Thomas Boni Yayi in Ottawa.

A military coup in Mali in March left a power vacuum in Bamako, the capital. That enabled Touareg separatists -- many of them former mercenaries for Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi until his ousting -- to join with Islamist rebels and seize the northern half of Mali, including the ancient city of Timbuktu.

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