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Mali Claims Loss of life of Abu Huzeifa, Terrorist Who Helped Lead Deadly Ambush in Niger

Mali mentioned on Monday that it had killed a high-value Islamist commander who helped lead a 2017 assault during which 4 American and 4 Nigerien troopers had been killed alongside an interpreter.

The U.S. State Division had put a $5 million bounty on the pinnacle of the commander, Abu Huzeifa — a member of an affiliate of the Islamic State — after his participation in an assault in Tongo Tongo, Niger, on American Inexperienced Berets and their Nigerien comrades.

At the moment, the assault was the biggest lack of American troops throughout fight in Africa for the reason that “Black Hawk Down” debacle in Somalia in 1993.

In a post on social media on Monday, Mali’s armed forces mentioned that on Sunday that they had “neutralized a serious terrorist chief of international nationality throughout a large-scale operation in Liptako” — a tri-border area that incorporates components of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

Officers on the U.S. State and Protection Departments mentioned on Tuesday that they’re conscious of the report, however are in search of extra data.

Mali has been in disaster since 2012, when rebels and jihadists took management of swaths of its desert north. The intervention of international forces — led by France, which deployed 1000’s of troops — didn’t cease the unrest.

In 2020, coup plotters overthrew Mali’s elected authorities, utilizing the safety disaster to justify their energy seize. However since then the ruling junta has pursued the identical military-first technique that the international forces did, and practically 4 years later, analysts say the scenario is worse.

After a ten-year struggle in opposition to the Islamists, French troops pulled out in 2022. The junta in Mali turned as a substitute to Russian army advisors and mercenaries with the Wagner group, who had been accused of committing atrocities in the midst of pursuing the militants.

Eric Schmitt contributed reporting from Washington.

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