Malian and French soldiers on patrol in Mali, where France has been aiding counter-insurgency efforts. File/Reuters
Gulf Today Report
A hundred militants were killed this month in a joint Franco-Malian offensive in the West African country's lawless centre, the nation’s army said in a statement on Tuesday.
"One hundred terrorists were neutralised, about 20 captured and several motorbikes and war equipment were seized" during the operation with France's Barkhane force, which aims to eradicate militants in the Sahel region, the Malian army said on its website.
It said the campaign lasted from Jan.2 to Jan.20 and targeted areas bordering Burkina Faso, where militant groups with links to Al Qaeda and Daesh control large tracts of the remote desert and regularly carry out raids on the army and civilians.
France, Mali's former colonial ruler, first intervened in the country in 2013 to help drive back militant forces advancing on Bamako.
It now has 5,100 troops deployed across Africa's arid Sahel region, as part of its Barkhane operation.
“The purpose of this operation was to force the enemy out of its areas of refuge,” the army said.
Earlier this month the French military said it had killed 15 militants near Mali's border with Burkina Faso, where an Al Qaeda-linked group is active.
Three other soldiers were killed in the same manner few days after. Their death makes it 50 French soldiers that have died in Mali since the French intervened in 2013.
Twenty-four Malian soldiers and 17 extremists fighters were killed in clashes in the east of the country, the army said, as security in the west African nation deteriorates further.
The ambush late on Sunday resulted in the deaths of eight soldiers, four allied fighters and three civilians, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, updating an earlier toll.
Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed on Thursday, honoured the winners of the eighth edition of the "Thank You” Award for employees of the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority, at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre.
European foreign ministers and UN agencies called for a ceasefire, with alarm rising over the worsening humanitarian crisis and potential starvation in the territory.
The weather on Sunday and Monday is expected to be partly cloudy to cloudy at times with a chance of drizzles to moderate and heavy rains at times on some areas, especially the northern, eastern and coastal ones, accompanied by a drop in temperature, especially in the west,..