The French military announced Wednesday its capture of Oumeya Ould Albakaye, an arrowhead of the Islamic State group in Mali.
French troops deployed in Mali have captured a senior figure in the branch of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region of Africa, the military said Wednesday.
“In the night of 11-12 June, an operation of the (French) Barkhane force allowed the capture of Oumeya Ould Albakaye, a senior figure in the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (IS-GS),” a spokesman said.
A security source said Albakaye had once been a potential successor to former IS-GS leader Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, who was gunned by French forces in August 2021.
Albakaye is an explosives expert and was regional chief in the group, commanding the areas of Gourma in Mali and Oudalan in neighbouring Burkina Faso.
He is responsible for several crimes against humanity in both countries. France is to complete its withdrawal from Mali within the next few months when its main military base at Gao will be returned to Malian forces.
Relations between Mali and France deteriorated after the military seized power in Bamako in August 2020.
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