Mali: 200+ militants killed in military operation
The army said that the operation was carried out in the Moura region from March 23 to 31, where 51 people were arrested and a significant quantity of weapons was seized, according to the army statement.
Mali's army stated that it has killed over 200 militants in the center of the Sahel state in recent clashes, following escalating violence over the past month.
The army said on Friday that the operation was carried out in the Moura region from March 23 to 31. During the operation, 51 people were arrested and a significant quantity of weapons was seized, according to the statement.
"This operation follows very precise information that made it possible to locate the holding of a meeting between various (militants) in Moura," a statement by the army said.
The statement came after several social media reports in the country claimed that dozens of people, including civilians, were killed in Moura.
The army’s reported death toll or the social media reports were not verified, according to the AFP news agency.
Malian militants kill over 25, injure dozens in an attack in March
According to media reports, more than 25 Malian army troops were slain and over 30 others were injured in an insurgent attack back in March in the country's central region.
The Malian army stated the ambush killed 27 troops, injured 33, and left seven missing. The military was able to eliminate 47 insurgents.
Moreover, a French military source claimed that hundreds of jihadists stormed a military barracks where roughly 150 soldiers were stationed. The assailants took control of 21 military vehicles, including tanks.
On February 18, Mali's transitional government asked France to withdraw its forces from the Sahel state "without delay", calling into question Paris' plans to pull out over several months.
A government spokesperson added in a statement announced on public television that the results of France's nine-year military engagement in Mali were "not satisfactory".
French President Emmanuel Macron had announced that he was withdrawing troops from Mali after a breakdown in relations with the nation's ruling military junta.
A little background
Mali has been in turmoil since 2012 when insurgents took over a northern separatist rebellion. The area has been used as a launch pad for attacks in neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger, killing thousands.
A spate of violence claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians. The military responded with airstrikes, and United Nations peacekeeping forces were deployed.