Coons to chair hearing on northern Mali

Senator Coons is chairing a hearing Wednesday on the deteriorating security situation in the northern part of the African country of Mali and what the US should do about it.

The Democrat tells WDEL News an Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group has been in control in northern Mali for months, destroying historic religious sites and brutalizing local residents.

"It's a very difficult, very touchy situation--it's reminiscent of Afghanistan of more than a dozen years ago, and I thought it was worth conducting a hearing to make sure other members of the Senate understood just how potentially challenging this is for the United States in the long term."

Coons says members of the terrorist group have been cutting off the hands, feet and ears of people who don't agree with the group's interpretation of Sharia law.

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