President Emmanuel Macron took to Twitter on Thursday to announce that his forces “neutralized” Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, the head of ISIS in Greater Sahara.
“This is another great success in our fight against terrorist groups in the Sahel,” he said.
There were few details about the military action.
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The New York Times reported that al-Sahraoui claimed responsibility for the ambush in the Tong Tongo region of Niger on behalf of the group.
A 12-strong army special forces unit accompanied 30 Nigerian troops on a mission to capture or kill a high-level terrorist leader in West Africa as they were outnumbered and attacked by more than 100 extremists carrying small arms.
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The Times pointed out that the four Americans killed included two green berets. Five Nigerian soldiers were also killed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report