Paris : French ground forces and military helicopters killed the commander of Jihad and four others linked to al Qaeda in Mali, the French military announced Friday.
The operation targeted Bah ag Moussa, a munition of the RVIM Islamic extremist group, who was on the list of UN sanctions and was believed to be responsible for several attacks against Mali and international forces, French military spokesman Frederic Barbry said. Reporter Friday.
Surveillance drones helped French troops in Mali identify Moussa’s truck in the Menaca region of eastern Mali, which was sent by helicopters and 15 French commandos to the scene. All five aboard the truck were killed after firing at the French army, ignoring warning fire, he said.
He described this as an act of’legitimate defense’, and said the body was treated under international humanitarian law. He did not comment on whether allied forces, including the United States, provided information on the operation.
A statement from the French defense minister revealed that Moussa was in charge of training new Jihad recruits. The killing of a terrorist suspect was the latest in a number of French actions in Mali in recent weeks.
France has thousands of troops in an army called Barkhane in West Africa to help fight extremist groups. The Islamic extremist rebels lost their power in northern Mali after a French-led military operation in 2013, but regrouped in the desert, now launching frequent attacks on the Mali army and its allies.
French troops recently announced their operations on the 5th anniversary of the Islamic extremist attack, targeting the Bataclan concert hall, cafés and national stadiums, killing 130 people in Paris.