British soldiers in Mali forced to stay inside their base as country is 'too dangerous'

BRITISH troops due to spearhead a new force in war-torn Mali are to stay inside their base over fears it is too dangerous.

Ministers increased the number from 250 to 300 but restricted their role just weeks before they set off for West Africa.

The move has “stunned” the UN peace-keeping mission, which already has 13,500 in place.

The Light Dragoons and the Royal Anglians had trained for long-range desert recon work.

Now they will be stuck inside their camp training local forces instead.

Lt Gen Dennis Gyllens­porre, UN force commander, said he did not need more troops in camps, having previously said the Brits would make a “big difference”.

The mission has been hamstrung by a lack of helicopters, with just 14 in a country five times the size of Britain.


A defence source said the Brit soldiers would stay at the base “until they know it’s safe”.

The SAS has been in Mali for months, assessing risks from hundreds of groups, including IS.

The MoD said: “All operational commitments are kept under review.

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