10:44 GMT18 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Jama'a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM), a branch of the al-Qaeda terror group* in Mali, has claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on three French servicemen in the African country, according to the US-based jihadist-tracking SITE Intelligence Group.

    The militant group has also reportedly demanded the withdrawal of French forces from Mali.

    The attack occurred on Monday morning after an improvised explosive device hit an armored vehicle carrying three French soldiers said to have been engaged in a military operation to fight radicals in the Hombori area in central Mali.

    In 2014, France launched Operation Barkhane to fight Islamist groups in the Sahel G5 countries; Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad. Amid continued unrest in the region, France and 12 countries created the Takuba Task Force in March 2020 to provide further assistance to the Malian armed forces.

    *Al-Qaeda - a terror group, banned in Russia and many other countries.


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    France, Mali, al-Qaeda
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