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El País - Spain | Thursday, January 17, 2013

Europe must prevent terrorist state

Islamist militants have taken control of a natural gas field in Algeria on Wednesday. According to reports at least two people died during the attack and a number of foreigners have been taken hostage. Europe and Mali's neighbouring countries must join forces and back France's resolute action, the left-liberal daily El País urges: "Europe cannot allow a Jihad state to be created in Mali, practically on its doorstep. And nor can its neighbours allow this to happen. Above all Algeria, which until now has refused to act, has much to lose. The North African arm of al-Qaida attacked buildings and kidnapped an unspecified number of foreigners on its territory yesterday. ... With his decisive reaction, French President François Hollande has gained stature at home and abroad. But the objective cannot only be to 'destroy the terrorists', as he described his intention. This is not just about Mali, the entire Sahel has become an Islamist powder keg that must be defused. But to do that, weapons alone will not be enough."

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