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Published: Sunday December 8, 2013 MYT 7:11:52 AM
Updated: Sunday December 8, 2013 MYT 7:12:48 AM

French troops in Central African Republic to reach 1,600 on Saturday - Hollande

PARIS (Reuters) - France will increase its troop deployment in Central African Republic to 1,600 soldiers by Saturday evening, French President Francois Hollande said, as it steps up efforts to curb a wave of violence in its former colony.

"On Thursday evening, there were 600 troops. Last night there were 1,000 and by tonight there will be 1,600," he told a news conference to mark the end of a France-Africa summit. "It's a number that will remain as long as necessary for this mission."

Until now, France had said it was sending 1,200 men to Central African Republic.

(Reporting by John Irish and Daniel Flynn; editing by Muriel Boselli)

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