Updated at: 01/18/2013 11:37 PM
(AP) WASHINGTON - The State Department is telling dependents of its employees working in the U.S. Embassy in Bamako, Mali, to leave.
In a travel warning issued Friday, the department also advises Americans against all travel to the west African nation because of fighting and Islamic militant activity in the north and central regions.
The State Department warns of attacks and kidnappings of westerners. The department also warns of food shortages, the loss of government control in some areas and the presence of militants linked to al-Qaida.
France has launched air strikes and sent troops to its former colony in attempt to regain control of the regions that have fallen to the militants.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)