], officially Republic of Mali, independent republic (2005 est. pop. 12,292,000), 478,764 sq mi (1,240,000 sq km), the largest country in W Africa. Mali is bordered on the north by Algeria, on the east and southeast by Niger, on the south by Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire, and on the west by Guinea, Senegal, and Mauritania. Bamako
is the capital and by far the largest city.
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