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Mali forces kill senior figure in Islamic State affiliate

MALIAN forces killed Abu Huzeifa, a commander for a West African affiliate of Islamic State, during a large-scale operation in the northern region of Menaka, the Malian authorities said in a statement read on state television on Monday.

Huzeifa’s death on Sunday had been confirmed after the operation in the region’s Indelimane sector, they said but did not give further details.

The U.S. State Department’s Rewards for Justice program offers a bounty of up to $5 million for information on Huzeifa for his alleged participation in a 2017 attack in neighbouring Niger that killed four U.S. and four Nigerien soldiers.

Over the past decade, attacks by groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State have killed thousands of people in Mali, Niger, and neighbouring Burkina Faso, destabilising West Africa’s central Sahel region.

As of March, the protracted security and humanitarian crisis had displaced over 3 million people in the region, according to the International Organization for Migration.

By The African Mirror