U.S. deploys a few troops to Mali

Washington

U.S. deploys a few troops to Mali

The Pentagon has deployed a small number of troops to Mali to support allied forces fighting there, despite repeated pledges by the Obama administration not to put "boots on the ground" in the war-torn African country.

About 10 U.S. military personnel are in Mali to provide "liaison support" to French and African troops but are not engaged in combat operations, said Lt. Col. Robert Firman, a Pentagon spokesman. Twelve others are assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Bamako, the capital, he added.

"There is no consideration of putting any American boots on the ground at this time," Leon Panetta, then the secretary of defense, said Jan. 15, a few days after France intervened militarily in Mali to prevent Islamist fighters from taking control of the country.

France has about 4,000 troops in Mali. Six have been killed since January.

Philadelphia

Jury deliberations start in abortion case

A jury began weighing murder charges Tuesday against a doctor charged with killing five people, including four viable babies allegedly born alive in what authorities describe as illegal, late-term abortions routinely performed at his clinic.

Kermit Gosnell, 72, faces the death penalty if convicted of killing babies born alive. He maintains that he helped desperate women and teens who had no other access to medical care.

Afghanistan

Bombs kill 3 NATO troops, 9 Afghans

Roadside bomb attacks in Afghanistan killed three NATO service members and nine Afghans on Tuesday, officials said, clear evidence that the insurgents' annual spring offensive is under way.

The service members died in southern Afghanistan, the U.S.-led coalition said in a brief statement that provided no other information. The Afghans died in attacks in Kandahar province, Kunduz province and Uruzgan province, officials said.

Elsewhere

San Jose, Calif: Ramineh Behbehanian, 50, faces attempted murder charges after police say she tried to sneak two orange juice bottles spiked with a lethal amount of rubbing alcohol inside a Starbucks on Monday. Police are still looking for a motive.

Pakistan: A court ruled Tuesday that former military ruler Pervez Musharraf could never run for public office again.

India: A 5-year-old girl has died after being raped in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, an official said Tuesday. Two men have been arrested in connection with the attack.

Times wires

U.S. deploys a few troops to Mali 04/30/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 12:28am]

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