Spain to send security troops to Mali

Spain is to send 50 troops to the West African country of Mali as the European nation moves to combat regional insecurity.

Spain to send security troops to Mali
Spanish soliders will provide security and training assistance in Mali. Photo: ISAF

The soldiers will arrive in Mali on April 13, reported ABC newspaper on Tuesday.

They will be part of a European Union mission which will help Mali's government maintain control of its vast territory.

Mail is struggling to stop activities of Islamic fundamentalist groups including Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA) in the north of the country.

The Spanish troops will act as a security force at an EU training base in Koulikoro, about 60 kilometres from Mali's capital Bamako, according to Europa Press.

A further 15 Spanish soldiers will give Malian soldiers special operations training.

The security detail will be overseen by a lieutenant colonel, three deputies and 28 soldiers from Almeria's Viator Legion.

The EU's mission in Mali — known as the European Union Training Mission Mali, or EUTM for short — aims to rebuild Mali's under a civil authority.

The EU will consult on issues including control of power, logistical resources and respecting humanitarian rights.

Early in 2012, Islamists took over control over the north of Mali , terrorizing the inhabitants of the desert zone north of the River Niger.

The country experienced a military coup in March last year, with coup leader Amadou Sanogo citing the government's failure to control the north of the country as a motive for the overthrow.

In January this year, French forces moved into Mail and retook Malian territory.

The Maghreb and Sahel zones are of particular security interest to Spain as these constitute the southern border of the Mediterranean nation.

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VIDEO: Police nab Madrid skyscraper bomb hoax suspect

A man suspected of making hoax bomb threats, including to a Madrid skyscraper that houses several embassies, has been arrested, police said Wednesday.

VIDEO: Police nab Madrid skyscraper bomb hoax suspect
Police cordoned off the building after the hoax call on April 16th. Photo: AFP

The unidentified man, who was detained Tuesday in Madrid for causing public disorder, is believed to have called the Australian embassy, located on the 24th floor of the 57-storey Torre Espacio or  Space Tower, on April 16th  claiming there was a bomb inside, a police statement said.

A video of the suspect being led away in handcuffs was posted on the Ministry of Interior twitter account:


The hoax call prompted police to evacuate the 235-metre (770-feet) high building in northern Madrid which also houses the British, Dutch and Canadian embassies.   

The man is also suspected of  a hoax bomb threat made to the Ecuadoran embassy in Madrid on April 11th. 

 He had been detained in the past for making a false bomb threat to a “German foundation” in the Spanish capital, according to police.

READ MORE: False alarm: workers return to Madrid skyscraper housing UK embassy after fake bomb threat