French forces battle militants in northern Mali

French forces operating in northern Mali said that they had taken "out of action" around 20 militants in operations against jihadist groups this week.

Published: 03rd June 2017 06:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd June 2017 06:58 AM   |  A+A-


N'Djamena, Chad: French forces operating in northern Mali said Friday that they had taken "out of action" around 20 militants in operations against jihadist groups this week.

Soldiers taking part in Operation Barkhane, the French counterterror mission operating across the Sahel region, called in Mirage 2000 jets and Tiger attack helicopters.

"The Barkhane force carried out a new operation in the Serma forest...  taking around 20 terrorists out of action," Barkhane said in a statement.

The assault, which began Sunday and ended Thursday resulted in the seizure of weapons, munitions and other equipment.

Barkhane added that a series of operations carried out with Mali and Burkina Faso forces since the end of April, along with air and land surveillance of local activity had "produced intelligence on operations by armed terrorist groups in the region".

On Thursday, four French soldiers were wounded, one seriously, when a mortar struck a Barkhane camp outside Timbuktu.

A day earlier, three Malian soldiers were killed in an ambush in northern Mali.

Operation Barkhane comprises around 4,000 soldiers who are deployed in five countries -- Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso -- all of which are menaced by the jihadist threat across porous borders.

Nineteen French soldiers have died serving in Mali since 2013 when Hollande launched an intervention to chase out jihadists linked to Al-Qaeda who had overtaken key northern cities, according to the latest defence ministry figures.

Jihadists continue to roam the country's north and centre, mounting attacks on civilians and the army, as well as French and UN forces still stationed there.

Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron visited troops in Mali, on his first official visit outside Europe after taking power.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp