French airstrikes take the lives of more than 50 Al Qaeda-linked jihadists in Mali

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The French Government announced on Monday about its forces taking the lives of over 50 jihadists representing Al-Qaeda by air strikes in Central Mali. The execution happened on Friday near the border areas of Burkina Faso and Niger, where the government troops were making their best attempts to conquer the Islamic insurgency, said French Defence Minister, Florence Parly post the meeting with members of Mali’s transitional government.

Parli stated, “On October 30 in Mali, the Barkhane force conducted an operation that neutralised more than 50 jihadists and confiscated arms and material,” pointing at the French-led anti-jihadist Operation Barkhane. She revealed further that nearly 30 motorcycles were destroyed.

Parly stated the operation was launched post a drone identified a “very large” motorcycle caravan in the region of three borders. Military spokesperson, Colonel Frederic Barbry said, “Four terrorists have been captured.” In a conference call, Barbry addressed the reporters, stated that the group had been “about to attack (an army) position in the region”.

He further hinted on another operation, which will be targeting the Islamic State, based in the Greater Sahara, with the force of 3,000 soldiers. He iterated the results of the operation, initiated over a month ago, would be revealed in the forthcoming days.

Parly stated the airstrike caused a “significant blow” to the Ansarul Islam Group, which she mentioned has connections with Al-Qaeda through the GSIM alliance headed by Iyad Ag Ghaly.

With the objective of peace-keeping, the United Nations deployed nearly 13,000 troops in Mali, known as MINUSMA. Also, France has deployed 5,100 troops in the Sahel region.

Over the years, Mali has been striving to tackle a brutal jihadist insurgency which initially commenced in the north of the country in 2012, acquiring a rebellion through majorly ethnic separatists.

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