France has announced that her forces located in the West African country, Mali have killed at least 30 terrorists belonging to the Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM) in the central region of the country. JNIM is affiliated to al-Qaeda and operate in several West African countries and is affiliated to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
France’s ministry of armed forces said the attack combined airstrikes, helicopter assaults and ground engagement by French soldiers. Moreover, it is believed that a chief jihadi leader, Hamadoun Kouffa, who is the head of Katibat Macina, a predominantly Fulani jihadi group that is a member of JNIM may be among the dead.
Operation Barkhane is France’s largest overseas military deployment with 3 000 French troops in the Sahel region. Also, the attack is second in as many weeks that has killed heads of the smaller conglomerate jihadist groups that have sworn allegiance to AQIM in Africa’s west.