French Airstrikes Kills 50 Terrorists Linked to Al Qaeda in Mali 

The strike was conducted on Friday, 30 October near the borders of Burkina Faso and Niger.

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File image of French Defense Minister Florence Parly.

The French government on Monday, 2 November, stated that its forces had killed more than 50 terrorists linked to Al Qaeda group in airstrikes in central Mali, AFP reported.

“I would like to reveal an operation of great importance which was carried out on 30 October in Mali by the Barkhane force, which was able to neutralise more than 50 jihadists and confiscated arms and material,” said French Defense Minister Florence Parly, AFP reported.

Parly added that around 30 motorcycles were destroyed.

The strike was conducted on Friday, 30 October, near the borders of Burkina Faso and Niger.

Parly added that the strike was launched after a drone detected a “very large” motorcycle caravan in the “three borders” area.

“When the jihadists moved under trees to try and escape surveillance, the French force sent in two Mirage jets and a drone to launch missiles, leading to the “neutralisation” of the insurgents,” AFP quoted Parly as saying.

French military spokesman Colonel Frederic Barbry said that four terrorists were captured. Barbry also said that explosives and suicide vests were also found, reported AFP.

“The group had been in about to attack position in the region,” Barbry added.

He further stated that another operation, targeting Islamic State in Greater Sahara, was also underway, with a total of 3,000 soldiers, AFP reported.

Defence Minister Parly said that the military action was a significant blow to the Ansarul Islam group that has ties with Al Qaeda through the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), a regional jihadist alliance, AFP reported.

Ahead of her visit in Bamako, Parly met with Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou and her Nigerien counterpart Issoufou Katambe.

(With inputs from AFP)

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