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Mali: French army neutralized Al-Qaida leader in the Islamic Maghreb, Abdelmalek Droukdal, announces Parly

Steph Deschamps / June 05, 2020

On June 3, the French armed forces, with the support of their partners, neutralized the emir of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Abdelmalek Droukdal and several of his close collaborators, during an operation in the northern Mali, "said Florence Parly on Friday evening.

Abdelmalek Droukdal (Abou Moussaab Abdel Wadoud), “member of the Al-Qaida steering committee, commanded all Qaida groups in North Africa and the Sahel strip, including JNIM, one of the main active terrorist groups in the Sahel, ”writes the Minister of Armies. The historic Algerian jihad leader in the Maghreb, commander of several Sahel jihadist groups, was killed Thursday northwest of the Malian city of Tessalit, AFP reported.

A jihadist cadre captured
The head of AQIM, whose name is sometimes also spelled Droukdel, has received allegiance from several jihadist groups active in the Sahel, gathered since 2017 within the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (GSIM), led by the Malian Tuareg Iyad Ag Ghaly. France also claims on Friday evening the capture of an "important member of the EIGS", the jihadist group Islamic State in the Grand Sahara, rival of the GSIM in the Sahel and designated enemy number one by Paris.

"Operations against ISIS in the Grand Sahara, the other great terrorist threat in the region, are also continuing. On May 19, the French armed forces captured Mohamed el Mrabat, a jihad veteran in the Sahel and an important member of EIGS, "Parly said in another tweet.

The French anti-jihadist force Barkhane, with more than 5,000 soldiers, has multiplied the offensives in the Sahel in recent months, in an attempt to stem the spiral of violence which, mixed with inter-community conflicts, has caused 4,000 deaths in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso last year, five times more than in 2016 according to the UN

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