France Says It Has Killed Senior Al Qaeda Operative In Mali

In a statement, Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said on Friday that the killing of Bah ag Moussa, considered responsible for several attacks against Malian and international forces, is a major success in the fight against terrorism

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French forces have killed Bah ag Moussa, a military leader of al Qaeda’s North Africa wing, during an operation in northeastern Mali.

Moussa, who was on the US terrorism list, was killed on Tuesday after an operation involving ground troops and helicopters and comes after a series of operations that have seen French forces kill dozens of Islamist fighters in recent weeks.

In a statement, Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said on Friday that the killing of Bah ag Moussa, considered responsible for several attacks against Malian and international forces, is a major success in the fight against terrorism

The former Malian army colonel, also known as Bamoussa Diarra, was a right-hand man of Iyad Ag Ghali, the leader of Mali’s most prominent jihadi group, Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM).

Also, French military spokesman Col. Frederic Barbry told reporters on Friday that Moussa was believed to be responsible for multiple attacks on Malian and international forces in the country.

Barbry said Surveillance drones helped French forces in Mali identify Moussa’s truck in the Menaka region of eastern Mali, which was then targeted by the helicopters and 15 French commandos sent to the scene.

Former colonial power France has more than 5,100 personnel spread across the region with a large portion in Mali operating against rising militancy.

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