Malian and French soldiers on patrol in Mali, where France has been aiding counter-insurgency efforts. File/Reuters
Gulf Today Report
A hundred militants were killed this month in a joint Franco-Malian offensive in the West African country's lawless centre, the nation’s army said in a statement on Tuesday.
"One hundred terrorists were neutralised, about 20 captured and several motorbikes and war equipment were seized" during the operation with France's Barkhane force, which aims to eradicate militants in the Sahel region, the Malian army said on its website.
It said the campaign lasted from Jan.2 to Jan.20 and targeted areas bordering Burkina Faso, where militant groups with links to Al Qaeda and Daesh control large tracts of the remote desert and regularly carry out raids on the army and civilians.
France, Mali's former colonial ruler, first intervened in the country in 2013 to help drive back militant forces advancing on Bamako.
It now has 5,100 troops deployed across Africa's arid Sahel region, as part of its Barkhane operation.
“The purpose of this operation was to force the enemy out of its areas of refuge,” the army said.
Earlier this month the French military said it had killed 15 militants near Mali's border with Burkina Faso, where an Al Qaeda-linked group is active.
Twenty-four Malian soldiers and 17 extremists fighters were killed in clashes in the east of the country, the army said, as security in the west African nation deteriorates further.
Three other soldiers were killed in the same manner few days after. Their death makes it 50 French soldiers that have died in Mali since the French intervened in 2013.
France was on Tuesday to pay its final respects to two commandos killed during a raid to rescue four hostages in the Sahel region of Africa last week that has sparked a row over the risks taken by the freed tourists.
According to the government, 37,291 people were discharged from hospitals and health centres in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cured to 30,781,263 till date as the virus continued to infect less than one lakh people over the last 53 days.
Rising sea levels reclaimed the land by swallowing the two-storey house - built between the 1960s and 1970s - whole.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned the attack and repeated the UN's "commitment to support the Government and people of Afghanistan in their efforts to achieve peace and stability".
Authorities race to contain an emerging outbreak of the Delta strain as millions of residents in the city and several other areas will be placed under stay-at-home orders from Saturday afternoon for three days