Moscow [Russia], January 3 (ANI/Sputnik): Jama'a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM), the branch of the al-Qaeda terror group (banned in Russia) in Mali, has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on three French servicemen in the African country, the US-based SITE Intelligence Group that tracks jihadist activities has reported.
The militant group also reportedly demanded the withdrawal of French forces from Mali.
The attack occurred on Monday morning when an improvised explosive device hit an armored vehicle carrying three French soldiers who were engaged in a military operation to fight radicals in the Hombori area in central Mali.
In 2014, France launched Operation Barkhane to fight Islamist groups in the Sahel G5 countries, namely Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad. Amid continued unrest in the region, France and 12 countries created the Takuba Task Force this past March to provide further assistance to the Malian armed forces. (ANI/Sputnik)