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Islamic State leader in Africa ‘neutralized’: Emmanuel Macron

Islamic State leader in Africa ‘neutralized’: Emmanuel Macron

dpa
Paris
Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, the leader of Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, has been “neutralized” by French forces, President Emmanuel Macron said early on Thursday.
“This is another major success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel,” the French president tweeted, paying tribute to the “heroes who died for France in the Serval and Barkhane operations in the Sahel.” “Their sacrifice is not in vain,” Macron said.
France had recently announced that it would realign its military presence in the Sahel, and reduce the number of troops in the region by more than 2,000 in the long term.
The former colonial power is mobilising up to 5,100 soldiers in the current counter-terror mission, dubbed Barkhane. A number of armed groups are active in the states of the Sahel - an area that stretches south of the Sahara from the Atlantic to the Red Sea. Some have sworn allegiance to Islamic State or the al-Qaeda terrorist network.
In 2019 the United States offered a reward of up to 5 million dollars for information on al-Sahrawi, who according to the State Department first vowed allegiance to Islamic State in May 2015 before Islamic State acknowledged the pledge later that year.
The Islamic State in the Greater Sahara - which emerged when al-Sahrawi and his followers split from al-Qaeda splinter group al-Mourabitoun - is designated a foreign terrorist organization under the US Immigration and Nationality Act.

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