French commando seriously injured in Mali counter-Islamic State operation
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A French solider was seriously injured during a counter-Islamic State operation near Indelimane in Mali’s Menaka region in which five ‘terrorists’ were ‘put out of action,’ the French Armed Forces Ministry said in a Monday, November 18 release.
In the early morning of November 16, during a “reconnaissance action conducted in the heart of the Malian Liptako” where Islamic state in the Greater Sahara is evolving, “the Barkhane force put five terrorists out of action in the Indelimane area,” the release said.
“Following the observation of movements of armed terrorist groups in the Liptako, an operation of opportunity was triggered against a suspicious camp” around 20 km south of Indelimane, also rendered as In Delimane.
“After being dropped off by helicopter, Barkhane force commandos infiltrated through difficult terrain at night,” the release said. “In the early morning, an assault was conducted with the support of Tigre helicopters from the Desert Aerocombat Battle Group, leading to the terrorists being put out of action.”
During the action, one commando was seriously injured. He was evacuated and then repatriated to France and is currently being cared for at Percy Military Hospital, the release said.
Four motorcycles, AK-47-type weapons, and other materiel including explosives, magazines and bullet-proof vests were seized or destroyed during the operation, the release said.
ISIS claimed two significant attacks in the Indelimane area of Mali earlier this month. It said its fighters were responsible for an attack on a military base in Indelimane that killed at least 49 people, and for a roadside bomb blast that killed a French soldier between Gao and Menaka the following day. ISIS said that attack was also in the Indelimane area.
Since May, ISIS has attributed insurgent activities in the Mali-Burkina Faso-Niger tri-border area to its West Africa Province affiliate, rather than to what was previously known as Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.
The news of the operation came just one day after the end of an ‘unprecedented’ 17-day joint counter-terror operation involving forces from France, Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger in the Déou area of Burkina Faso and Boulikessi area of Mali. More than 1,400 soldiers took part in the operation against “armed terrorist groups” and Operation Bourgou IV “resulted in 24 individuals being put out of action,” the French Armed Forces Ministry said.
Source: Defense Post