Algiers — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Algeria Monday to press for possible military intervention in neighbouring Mali, where Islamic extremists have taken over large parts of the country.
Secretary Clinton talked with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika about backing West African efforts against the Islamic extremists in northern Mali.
The UN Security Council has called on West African nations to ready a military force against al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which is tightening its grip on the north of Mali. Rebels and extremists essentially partitioned the country after a coup in March.
Clinton said AQIM is working with other extremists to undermine democratic transitions in North Africa, and played a role in the September attack on the U.S. mission in the Libyan city of Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
A US State Department official travelling with Clinton said Algeria's role in a resolution to the crisis would be a "central focus".