French Drone Strikes Kill At Least 40 Extremists in Niger Republic

France has said its drone strikes have killed at least 40 extremists in Niger Republic. According to a statement on Thursday, the extremists were on motorcycles near Niger’s border with Burkina Faso, which has become an epicentre of extremism in the Sahel.

The strikes were described as “new tactical” success for Operation Barkhane, France’s operations to stop terrorism in the Sahel.

“Intelligence obtained from Nigerien units in contact with the column confirmed that the motorcycles belonged to an armed terrorist group moving between Burkina Faso and Niger,” Barkhane said in the statement.

“In close coordination with Niger’s Armed Forces, the Barkhane force conducted several strikes against the column. Nearly 40 terrorists were neutralised.”

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Niger also corroborated the statement and revealed that the jihadists had killed at least eight security agents in Southwest Niger earlier in the week.

Since Mali severed ties with France and Burkina Faso is also cozying up with the Russians, Niger has been the French military’s new destination to wield an influence in the Sahel.

France has said it is seeking new partners in the Sahel outside Mali and Burkina Faso as it continues to attempt to stamp its presence and oppose jihadist attacks. 

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