Macron says 33 terrorists 'neutralized' in Mali
December 21 2019 06:54 PM
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during the inauguration of the "WinWin" Agora-Kou
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during the inauguration of the "WinWin" Agora-Koumassi social-cultural sports centre in the Koumassi quarter of Abidjan

dpa/Abidjan

A total of 33 terrorists have been rendered inoperative in Mali, according to French President Emmanuel Macron.
Speaking in Abidjan to French citizens living abroad, Macron called the operation Saturday a "considerable success," using the word "neutralize" to describe what had been done to the terrorists, without explaining whether they had been killed or not.
France has around 4,500 soldiers deployed as part of its anti-terrorism mission in the Sahel region. But doubts emerged over the future of the operation after 13 French troops died in Mali in a helicopter crash during an encounter with militants at the end of November. Macron said the military operation rendering the 33 terrorists inoperative took place Saturday morning in the central Malian region of Mopti. French soldiers freed Malian troops who had been taken hostage.
Several armed groups are active in the Sahel region, which stretches south of the Sahara Desert from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea.
Macron is planning a summit with members of the so-called G5 Sahel group on January 13, and is expected to provide clarity on France's military presence in the region.
The G5 Sahel group members are Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Chad.



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