French Forces Kill At Least 50 Islamist Extremists In Mali
France's defense minister Florence Parly says French military forces fighting Islamist extremists in West Africa “put away” more than 50 jihadists in a recent operation in Mali.
Minister Parly tweeted late Monday that the French-led Operation Barkhane force in the region also confiscated weapons and equipment from the fighters in the raid last Friday, which she said “shows once again that terrorist groups cannot act with impunity.”
Parly is currently in the Malian capital Bamako, where she met with the head of the transitional government. After Mali's president was ousted in August by a military junta, she urged democratic elections “as quickly as possible” and said the current leadership promised to ensure them.
France, which has suffered repeated deadly attacks from jihadists in the region, has thousands of troops deployed in West Africa to help fight extremist groups there.
Islamist rebels were forced from power in northern Mali in 2013, following a French-led military operation, but regrouped in the desert and now launch frequent attacks on the Malian army and its allies.
Meanwhile, Mali has faced months of political upheaval. Under international pressure, the junta appointed a civilian-led government to lead the country through an 18-month transition period to new elections.