Romania sending helicopters to Mali after Canada’s departure

Click to play video: 'Trudeau visits Canadian troops on peacekeeping mission in Mali'
Trudeau visits Canadian troops on peacekeeping mission in Mali
WATCH: Trudeau visits Canadian troops on peacekeeping mission in Mali – Dec 22, 2018

Romania will supply transport helicopters to a United Nations peacekeeping mission in the troubled African nation of Mali once Canada has pulled out as scheduled this year, the Canadian government said on Thursday.

Canada currently has six helicopters and 250 support troops based near the northern Mali city of Gao. They are due to leave on July 31.

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READ MORE: UN reports sharp deterioration in Mali since Canadian peacekeepers arrived

“Canada welcomes the commitment of Romania, a credible and capable troop-contributing ally, to replace our Canadian air task force,” Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement.

The United Nations on Thursday said 177 people deployed in Mali have been killed since 2013, making it the world’s deadliest peacekeeping operation.

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An al Qaeda-linked Islamist group in Mali has claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 10 U.N. peacekeepers from Chad in the north of the country on Jan. 20.

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