U.S. approves use of transport planes in Central African mission

DOHA (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has authorized military transport aircraft to carry troops from Burundi to the Central African Republic to support a French-led effort to stop the spread of sectarian violence in that country, a Pentagon spokesman said.

Hagel, who is traveling in Qatar, authorized the use of U.S. transport planes on Sunday after being asked for airlift assistance by French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, the spokesman said in a statement.

(Reporting by David Alexander; editing by Christopher Wilson)