20 terrorists killed in Mali’s north

Author: AFPTue, 2017-05-02 03:00ID: 1493670386556829700PARIS: French soldiers killed or captured about 20 terrorists in Mali’s restive north where a French soldier was killed on April 5, the French chief of staff said Sunday.Troops from Operation Barkhane, a French counter-terror operation whose mission is to target militant groups operating in the Sahel region south of the Sahara Desert, launched the operation on Saturday south-west of the city of Gao.“Since Saturday, the Barkhane force has been engaged in an operation which led to the neutralization of nearly 20 jihadists in the forest of Foulsare near the border between Mali and Burkina Faso,” a statement said.They were either killed or captured, spokesman Col. Patrik Steiger told AFP without giving a breakdown.French Mirage fighter jets bombed several arms depots in the forest, a sanctuary for armed terrorist groups.Set up in 2014, the operation comprises around 4,000 soldiers who are deployed across five countries — Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso. In Niger, it operates four Mirage 2000 fighter jets and five Reaper drones for gathering intelligence.Mali’s north fell under the control of terrorist groups linked to Al-Qaeda in 2012 who hijacked an ethnic Tuareg-led rebel uprising, though the militants were largely ousted by a French-led military operation in January 2013.But militants continue to roam the country’s north and center, mounting attacks on civilians and the army, as well as French and UN forces still stationed there.
Main category: World

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