Top jihadist leader killed in Sahel: France

Top jihadist leader killed in Sahel: France

Agency News

Paris, Nov 6 : France has announced the death of a top extremist leader of African jihadist group linked to al-Qaeda in Mali last month.

Moroccan Ali Maychou, co-founder of a group named Group to Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM), was killed during the night of October 8 in Mali with the help of Malian troops and US support last month, The National reported.

The announcement was made by French Defence Minister Florence Parly aboard a government plane as she returned from an official visit to the West African region on Tuesday. The announcement came as Ms Parly sought to reassure Mali of the support of European forces after a jihadist attack left several soldiers dead.

Maychou was "the second most-wanted terrorist in the Sahel, including by the Americans", Ms Parly said. The GSIM has claimed responsibility for the biggest attacks in the Sahel.

Mali's army has been struggling to contain the insurgency, despite help from France, African neighbours and the UN. Before leaving Mali on Tuesday, the French Minister expressed confidence that France, which deployed its 4,500-strong Barkhane force in the Sahel in 2014, was nearing a breakthrough in its efforts to convince the European partners to boost military help. (UNI)