100 jihadists killed in a joint French-Mali offensive in central Mali, the army said

One hundred jihadists were killed this month in a joint French-Malian offensive in the lawless center of the West African country, the Malian army said on Tuesday.

“One hundred terrorists were neutralized, about 20 were captured and several motorcycles and military equipment were seized” during the operation with the French Barkhane force, which aims to exterminate jihadists in the Sahel region, the Malian army said on its website.

Mali has struggled with a jihadist uprising that erupted in the north of the country in 2012 before spreading to the center and then to Burkina Faso and Niger, often inflaming ethnic rivalries.

France, Mali’s former colonial master, first intervened in the country in 2013 to help repel jihadist forces advancing on Bamako.

It now has 5,100 troops deployed across Africa’s arid Sahel region, as part of its Barkhane operation.

Earlier this month, the French military said it had killed 15 jihadists near Mali’s border with Burkina Faso, where an al-Qaeda group is active.