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French army neutralizes 30 terrorists in Mali

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The French army launched on Thursday night a raid on a terrorist organization in Mali, neutralizing about 30 terrorists, including Hamadoun Kouffa, a prominent jihadist leader, according to a statement released by the army on Friday.

   “At this stage of the evaluation of the operation, it appears that about 30 terrorists were put out of action, among whom are probably the head of the Katiba Massina, Hamadoun Kouffa, and its main cadres,” Chief of the Defense Staff of France, general Francois Lecointre, said in the statement.

   The raid took place in the Malian region of Mopti, and combined the action of many air assets: Mirage 2000, Tiger and Gazelle helicopters backed by Reaper drones, C135 tanker and maneuver helicopters, the general said.

   French Defense Minister Florence Parly, in a separate statement, hailed the “courageous and effective” action of the soldiers involved in this operation.

   “This new success of the French military engagement in the Sahel illustrates our desire to fight relentlessly against terrorism, and it also demonstrates our determination to help Malian authorities in their daily fight to stabilize and pacify their country,” she said. 

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