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French navy kills Al-Qaeda commander blamed for kidnapping & homicide of journalists in 2013, protection minister says

French military kills Al-Qaeda commander blamed for kidnapping & murder of journalists in 2013, defense minister says

Throughout its operation in Africa’s Sahel area, France’s navy killed an Al-Qaeda commander believed to be liable for kidnapping and murdering two French journalists in 2013, Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly has mentioned.

On June 5, French troops participating within the counter-terrorism ‘Operation Barkhane’ prevented an assault on a UN outpost within the village of Aguelhok in northern Mali, Parly mentioned in an announcement on Friday. 4 terrorists, who have been getting ready to fireplace mortars on the Chadian peacekeepers stationed on the facility, have been killed, together with a person recognized as Baye ag Bakabo, the minister added.

French prosecutors have named Bakabo the prime suspect within the kidnapping and homicide of Radio France Internationale (RFI) journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon in November 2013.

Dupont and Verlon have been seized by gunmen within the northern Malian city of Kidal after an interview with a neighborhood separatist chief. The pair have been pushed away and shot useless shortly after the kidnapping.

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In accordance with the prosecutors, Bakabo – a drug trafficker and member of Al-Qaeda within the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) – was the proprietor and driver of a pickup truck that had been deserted within the desert not removed from the spot the place the our bodies of the journalist have been found.

AQIM took duty for the killings, saying that it was retribution to France for its incursion into West Africa.

“At the moment, all my ideas are with the households and family members of Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon,” Parly wrote in her assertion on Friday.

Only a day earlier, President Emmanuel Macron introduced that France is ending Operation Barkhane within the Sahel, however will hold a diminished contingent of troops within the area as a part of the broader worldwide anti-terrorist pressure. He mentioned that every one the main points of the drawdown will probably be finalized by the tip of this month.

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A military base in Mali hosting Operation Barkhane troops. © AFP / Daphne Benoit
Macron declares finish of navy operation in Sahel, says French troops to grow to be a part of worldwide pressure

The French navy was deployed underneath the operation in West Africa in 2014 to assist the ‘5G Sahel’ nations – Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania – of their struggle in opposition to jihadist militants. Al-Qaeda and different radical Islamist teams have gained a foothold within the area after a NATO bombing marketing campaign in Libya led to the overthrow of the nation’s longtime chief Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Paris at present has some 5,100 troops deployed in Sahel, largely in Mali. For the reason that begin of Operation Barkhane, France has misplaced greater than 50 of its troopers in West Africa.

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