France says at least 30 Islamist militants have been killed in Mali in joint operations

At least 30 Islamist militants were killed and dozens of vehicles and weapons were destroyed during joint operations between the French-led Takoba task force and Malian soldiers last week, the French military ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement said that during the main operation on February 3, a drone spotted a column of fighters on motorbikes.

The statement stated that the engagement of a Mirage 2000 combat patrol aircraft to support the European and financial forces deployed on the ground “led to the cessation of the work of about twenty terrorists.”

It added that a vehicle loaded with tens of kilograms of explosives, weapons and motorcycles, used mostly by fighters in raids in the Sahel region of West Africa, was destroyed.

The joint operations from February 1 to February 6 coincide with tensions in Mali-France relations, forcing Paris and other European allies to question their continued military presence in Mali.

European allies are due to decide by next week how to continue their fight against Islamist militants in Mali, describing the situation as “indefensible”.

In a verbal attack on Monday, Chogel Maiga, who was appointed interim prime minister in the wake of last year’s coup, accused the French military of deliberately dividing the West African country and of perpetrating espionage as it fought against Islamist militants.

The French army said in its statement that the operations in the tri-border area of ​​Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso demonstrated the high level of cooperation as well as the effectiveness of the combat partnership between the Malian army and the European task force that included Estonia. special forces.

(Reuters)

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