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Mali Troops Destroy Jihadist Camps near I.Coast Border

Malian troops destroyed two jihadist camps and arrested 15 suspected militants in the latest operation combating radical Islamist groups near the southern border with Ivory Coast, military sources said on Tuesday.

"During new military operations in the area, we arrested 15 new jihadists and destroyed a new sanctuary of theirs in the region of Sikasso, on the border with Ivory Coast," a military officer told AFP.

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Malian Troops Kill Jihadists on I. Coast Border

Malian troops killed several jihadists near the country's southern border with Ivory Coast and destroyed the insurgents' camp in a forest straddling the frontier, a Malian army officer said Thursday.

"We have just destroyed the main military camp of the jihadists in the south, in the Sama forest located on the Ivorian border," the officer told AFP by telephone, requesting anonymity.

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French Special Forces Kill Top Al-Qaida Militant in Mali

France said on Tuesday its special forces in Mali killed an Al-Qaida commander who had been released from prison in a swap for a French hostage.

The army said Ali Ag Wadossene, one of the "operational leaders" of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), died on Sunday in the northeastern town of Kidal, while two other "terrorists" were captured.

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Six U.N. Peacekeepers Killed in Mali Qaida Attack

Militants killed at least six United Nations soldiers on Thursday in northern Mali, in one the deadliest ever attacks on the world's most dangerous peacekeeping mission, claimed by al-Qaida's north African arm.

MINUSMA, the U.N.'s force in the volatile west African nation, said its patrol was ambushed around 9:00 am (0900 GMT), 45 kilometers (28 miles) southwest of the city of Timbuktu on the road to Goundam. 

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Mali Kills Three Jihadis in Ivorian-Backed Operation

Malian soldiers killed three jihadis Wednesday during a search operation backed by Ivorian and United Nations troops at the site of an attack near its southern border, security sources said.

Public and police buildings were ransacked in the town of Fakola, 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Ivory Coast, on Sunday in an attack claimed by the Islamist militia Ansar Dine.

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Ansar Dine Claims Mali Attacks, Threatens I. Coast and Mauritania

Jihadist group Ansar Dine on Tuesday claimed responsibility for two weekend attacks in Mali near the borders with Mauritania and Ivory Coast, and threatened to strike both countries.

Three soldiers and nine militants were killed on Saturday as a military camp came under attack in the town of Nara, according to the government, while public and police buildings were ransacked in Fakola on Sunday.

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Mali Calls for Calm after Jihadist Attack

Mali's government appealed for calm on Monday after jihadists ransacked a town near the Ivory Coast border in the second attack in the south in less than three weeks.

Fighters carrying an Islamist flag took control of part of the town of Fakola on Sunday, attacking security forces and damaging a number of public buildings, including the town hall and police station, according to locals.

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English-accented Jihadi Parades Westerners in al-Qaida Video

Al-Qaida's north African branch has released footage of a jihadist with an English accent parading two Western hostages he says are being held in "new territory" under its control.

South African Stephen Malcolm McGowan and Swede Johan Gustafson were abducted in Timbuktu, northern Mali, in November 2011 and have been held since by Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

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Mali Asks U.N. to Take on Drug Traffickers Fueling Conflict

Mali asked the United Nations on Tuesday to take on drug traffickers and roll out an emergency aid package after a peace deal was signed to end violence in the north.

Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop told the Security Council that the U.N. peacekeeping force must help restore state authority in the north after an Islamist takeover in 2013 plunged the country into turmoil.

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French Defense Minister in Mali Visit to Shore up Peace Deal

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian visited Mali on Monday to show his support for a landmark peace deal agreed in the former colony to end years of unrest and ethnic divisions.

Just two days after Mali's Tuareg-led rebel alliance added its signature to the Algiers Accord -- aimed at stabilizing Mali's restive northern desert -- Le Drian traveled to the northern African country to offer France's help in implementing the fragile agreement.

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