The French Army in Mali has announced the killing of 30 jihadists, days after the army said its Barkhane Force neutralised Bah Ag Moussa, the military chief of the Group for the Support of Islam and Moslems (GSIM) which is linked to Al-Qaida.
The onslaught against the jihadists followed an operation carried out by helicopter commandos with the support of fighter jets.
According to a communiqué by the military high command, the operation took place near Niaki, 180 kilometres from Mopti in the centre of Mali.
“Thirty members of a terrorist armed group belonging to the Movement for the Victory of Islam and Moslems also called GSIM have been neutralised during an air operation of the Barkhane Force,” Colonel Frederic Barbry, the spokesperson of the military high command, confirmed in a tweet.
Information from the French army revealed that the operation followed the location of a suspected camp near Niaki, 180 kilometres east of Mopti and was carried out by Mirage 2000 military jets which took off from an airbase in Niamey, the capital of Niger.
Three combat helicopters of the mark Tigre and three Caiman troop carriers were also dispatched with mountain commandos to take part in the operation.
Meanwhile, after the sentencing of the Mauritanian Fawaz Ould Ahmed and Sadou Chaka, the Malian justice system in Bamako has sentenced the leader of a jihadist group and 14 of his combatants to death.
Those sentenced include Souleymane Keita who was arrested in 2016 and two others, all of whom were accused of having carried out murderous operations in the south of the country on the borders with Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso.
The14 others who were sentenced to death were not present in court.
Souleymane Keita had confessed to having participated in the attacks as a member of the Islamist group Ansar Dine of Iyad Ag Ghali, on the locality of Konna in the centre of Mali. The attack led to French military intervention in Mali.
Souleymane Keita’s intention was to install a branch of the Ansar Dine group within the triple border between Mali, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.