100 jihadists killed in joint Mali-France operation

MALIAN and French forces killed around 100 jihadists and took another 20 captive in a joint operation this January in central Mali, the West African nation’s army said in a statement.

It said the campaign lasted from January 2 to January 20 and targeted areas bordering Burkina Faso, where militant groups with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State control large tracts of the remote desert and regularly carry out raids on the army and civilians.

“The purpose of this operation was to force the enemy out of its areas of refuge,” the army said.

France has more than 5,100 military personnel based in the West African Sahel region to help counter the militants, an involvement that is facing increased opposition at home and from some quarters in Mali.

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