French troops have killed hundreds of islamist militants since they launched their offensive in January .The soldiers are however expected to pull out of Mali in March.
“Several hundred” Islamist militants have been killed since France launched an offensive in Mali last month, the French defence minister has said today.
Jean-Yves Le Drian said they had been killed in airstrikes and direct combat with French troops,BBC Reports
Soon after France sent troops to Mali last month, the al Qaeda-linked militants abandoned Timbuktu and other desert cities they had been controlling since the spring of 2012. Officials say they have returned to their mountain hide-outs near Mali’s border with Algeria.
“The goal is to destroy their rear bases,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Monday. “They can’t keep staying there for very long unless they get access to supplies.”