The French army killed, Saturday, June 5, in northern Mali, a jihadist leader of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) responsible for the kidnapping, in November 2013, of two French journalists from Radio France Internationale (RFI) , killed after being taken hostage, announced Friday June 11 the Minister of the Armies, Florence Parly.
“On June 5, the soldiers of ‘Barkhane’ detected the preparation of a terrorist attack in Aguelhok, in the north of Mali” and have “Eliminated four terrorists”, among which “Baye ag Bakabo, AQIM executive and responsible for the kidnapping of our fellow citizens” Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, she said.
“Its neutralization puts an end to a long wait, my thoughts go out today to the families, to the close relations, to the brothers and the sisters” of the two murdered journalists, added Florence Parly.
On November 2, 2013, the two French journalists from RFI were kidnapped during a report and then killed near Kidal, a few months after the French operation “Serval” intended to prevent an armed column of jihadists from seizing Bamako. Their bodies were found less than two hours later, a dozen kilometers away. On November 6, AQIM claimed responsibility for their assassination.
The result of this operation “Illustrates one of France’s main priorities in the Sahel: to bring down the main leaders of the terrorist groups that are rife in the region, the RVIM (Rally for the Victory of Islam and Muslims), linked to Al-Qaida, and the EIGS (Islamic State in the Great Sahara), linked to Daesh ”, underlined the minister.
While President Emmanuel Macron announced on Thursday June 10 that the French counterterrorism operation “Barkhane” in the Sahel will soon end, for the benefit of a lighter international support and combat support system for local troops, “The objective remains: France remains committed against international terrorism, alongside Sahelian countries, and for the security of Europe and the French”, a conclu Mme Parly.