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15 Islamic State fighters killed in Mali: France

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Anti-jihadist forces killed 15 members of the Islamic State group after being spotted by a Reaper drone from the French military operation Barkhane on Thursday.

15 members of the Islamic State group were killed after being hit by an airstrike [Getty]

French anti-jihadist forces in Mali have killed 15 members of the Islamic State group near the volatile border area with Niger, a French army spokesman has said. AFP Friday.

The team, traveling in a motorbike convoy, was spotted by a Reaper drone operated by the French military operation Barkhane on Thursday and then hit by an airstrike.

“Verification of various intelligence data confirmed that they were part of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), en route to the Ménaka region,” said the army spokesman, the Colonel Pascal Ianni.

France has around 2,400 troops in Mali and 4,500 across the Sahel region as part of Barkhane’s deployment to bolster regional governments against Islamic militants spread across large parts of the semi-desert sprawl .

French President Emmanuel Macron last year announced a withdrawal from Barkhane, hoping European allies would step in with more troops while local authorities beefed up their own security forces.

Yet in February France announced it would withdraw all its troops from Mali after a breakdown in relations with the ruling junta, ending a nearly 10-year deployment against jihadist groups that pose a growing threat in Africa. from West.

Earlier this month, an attack by hundreds of jihadists on a military camp in central Mali left 27 soldiers dead, while the Malian army had killed 47 “terrorists”.