Mali’s army said it had killed more than 200 militants in operations in central West Africa, the last clash of the month as violence escalated.
The attacks, carried out in late March by ground and air forces, targeted the Moura region, which the military says is a stronghold of jihadist groups that have been battling for territory in central and northern Mali for decades.
“This operation is accompanied by very detailed information that made it possible to locate a meeting of various (militants) in Moura,” the military said in a statement.
Mali has been in turmoil since 2012 when Islamic rebels took over a separatist insurgency in the north of the country. Local links between the military and al Qaeda have used the area as a launching pad for attacks in neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger, killing thousands.
Violent state violence in Greater Sahara in March claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians. The army responded with air strikes and the United Nations peacekeeping force in Mali sent two troops to the area.
Human rights groups have expressed concern about the plight of civilians who were caught in the crossfire or wrongly accused of being militants.
Soldiers killed at least 71 civilians between December and March, New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a report last month. The military, which denied the allegations, is investigating allegations of human rights abuses in the center and north of the country.
Mali says military operations in the Moura region have killed 200 militants – SABC News
Source link Mali says military operations in the Moura region have killed 200 militants – SABC News