French Military Kills Leading Member of al-Qaeda Affiliate in Mali

Al Quaeda affiliate Katiba Serma leader, Nasser Al Tergui, was killed last week in Mali after an airstrike by Barkhane military forces, the French army announced on Thursday.

Katiba Serma is an armed group affiliated with al Qaeda.

Al Tergui, who joined Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in 2012, had “major operational responsibilities” in the support group.

“He was notably specialised in planting improvised explosive devices”, the statement released by the French army said.

The statement added that Al Tergui’s death “will reduce the capacity to cause harm of an armed terrorist group known for carrying out attacks against local forces and numerous acts of violence against the local population.”

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According to the statement, a Barkhane drone spotted a vehicle carrying Al Tergui and five other members of the brigade about 100 kilometres North-West of Gossi town on Oct. 15.

Despite attempts to intercept the vehicle, it refused to stop.

“Two airstrikes were unleashed, destroying the vehicle and neutralizing the five occupants,” the army said.

Operation Barkhane, under which France has about 5,100 soldiers deployed across five countries in the Sahel region, south of the Sahara desert, was launched in 2014 to combat the jihadi insurgency there.

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