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France launches drone attack against terrorists in Mali, 7 killed

ANI | Updated: Dec 24, 2019 14:46 IST

Bamako [Mali], Dec. 24 (ANI): The French defence ministry on Monday said that it had carried out its first armed drone strike, killing seven Islamic extremists in central Mali over the weekend.
In a statement released on Monday, the armed forces said that the drone attack was carried out on Saturday around 150 kilometres away from the town of Mopti, Xinhua news agency reported.
"This is the first operational strike by an armed drone," the statement said.
On Saturday, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the armed forces have "neutralised" 33 terrorists in the central Malian region of Mopti.
France has deployed around 4,500 armed forces in the Sahel region since 2013 to fight the insurgency.
Northern Mali came under the control of al-Qaeda-linked fighters after Mali's army failed to quash a rebellion there in 2012. A French-led military campaign was launched a year later to push back the insurgents. But the armed groups have regrouped and widened their hit-and-run raids.
The violence, at present, has also spilt over into Burkina Faso and Niger where fighters have exploited existing inter-communal strife, leaving hundreds dead. (ANI)

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