(AP) Nigerian state-run TV says a bloc of West African nations has agreed to send 3,000 troops to stabilize Mali.
The decision came late Sunday at the end of an emergency ECOWAS bloc summit in Nigeria's capital.
Military experts from the U.N., ECOWAS, Europe and the African Union have drafted a plan to recapture northern Mali from militants, but it would need final approval from the African Union and the U.N. Security Council before it could be carried out.
Mutinous soldiers overthrew Mali's democratically elected president more than seven months ago, creating a power vacuum that paved the way for Islamists to grab the north.
Security analysts and diplomats say that even if the deployment of troops to north Mali is approved by the U.N. it could take months to implement.