Macron says French forces killed Islamic State leader in Sahara

PARIS  – President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday (Sept 15) that French military forces had killed Islamic militant Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, the leader of Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.

“It’s another major success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel,”Mr Macron said in a tweet, without disclosing the location of the operation.

Sahrawi was the historic leader of Islamic State in the Sahel region of West Africa and his group targeted United States soldiers in a deadly attack in 2017, Mr Macron’s office said. In August 2020, Sahrawi personally ordered the killing of six charity workers and their Nigerien driver, it added.

Mr Macron said in July that France would soon begin reshaping its force in the Sahel, where it has been on the front line of the fight against Islamist militants, and would ultimately halve its military presence.

With no apparent end in to France’s operations and political turmoil, especially in Mali, Paris had grown frustrated.

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