PARIS, Sept. 16 (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that French military forces had killed Islamist activist Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, the leader of ISIS in the Greater Sahara.
“This is another major success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel,” Macron said in a tweet, without revealing the location of the operation.
Sahrawi was the historic leader of the Islamic State in the Sahel region of West Africa and his group targeted American soldiers in a deadly attack in 2017, Macron’s office said. In August 2020, the Sahrawis personally ordered the assassination of six French charity workers and their Nigerien driver, he added.
Macron said in July that France would soon begin to reshape its force in the Sahel, where it has been at the forefront of the fight against Islamist militants, and eventually halve its military presence.
With no apparent end in view of France’s operations and political turmoil, particularly in Mali, Paris had become frustrated.
Reporting by Michel Rose; Edited by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Cynthia Osterman
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