Local Malian sources report that the emir of Katibat Gourma, a sub-unit of Al Qaeda’s Group for Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM), was killed in a French operation in northern Mali yesterday. France has confirmed it targeted Katibat Gourma, but the death of its emir is not yet confirmed.
Amadou Kouffa, the leader of JNIM’s Katibat Macina, has been designated as a global terrorist by the US State Department.
No group has yet to claim the attacks, but al Qaeda-linked militants have been widely blamed.
French forces reportedly killed dozens of jihadists after a three-week long operation in central Mali.
Human Rights Watch has documented dozens of civilians who have been murdered by both jihadists and government forces in Burkina Faso. This helps exacerbate the conditions that allow jihadists to operate in the region.
The ambush marks one of the deadliest attacks inside Burkina Faso, which is part of the growing jihadist violence inside the country.
AQIM leader Abu Musab Abdel Wadoud has confirmed that Almansour Ag Kassam (Almansour Ag Alkassoum), an important jihadist who worked with several al Qaeda groups, was killed by France in November.
Burkina Faso’s wanted list gives more information into the inner-workings and operations of Ansaroul Islam, a relatively under-researched and little understood al Qaeda-linked jihadist group.