France: Hundreds of al-Qaeda-Linked Militants Killed in Mali Since Beginning of Military Intervention

by Colonel on February 6, 2013

“Hundreds of al-Qaeda-linked fighters have been killed since the beginning of French military operation in northern Mali, France’s defence minister has said.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, the defence minister, said on wednesday that the 26-day military intervention had killed “several hundred” rebel fighters as its air and ground forces chased them from their northern strongholds into remote mountainous terrain in the far northeast, near the Algerian border.

France’s sole fatality so far has been a helicopter pilot who was killed at the start of the military operation.

France is likely to begin withdrawing its soldiers from Mali in March, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told daily newspaper Metro in an interview.

Nearly 4,000 French troops are currently deployed in Mali, and the former colonial ruler is keen to hand over the operation to African forces.

” — Copyright 2013 Al Jazeera

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