The French authorities have announced this Tuesday the death of a prominent member of the jihadist group Islamic State in Greater Sahara (ISGS) that would have been behind the murder of six humanitarian workers in August 2020 in western Niger.
The French Army General Staff has indicated in a statement that the suspect, identified as Soumana Boura, died in an operation carried out on Monday “In coordination with the Nigerian authorities” in “an ISGS sanctuary area north of the city of Tillabéri.”
Thus, he has highlighted that after being “formally identified”, he was “neutralized” in a bombardment, before stating that this operation is in line with the military strategy launched after the Pau summit in January 2020.
“The combat partnership with our Sahelian partners and the maintenance of a high operational pace allow us to continue hitting ISGS and the Support Group for Islam and Muslims (JNIM),” he stressed in the statement, in which he stressed his “determination” in the fight against terrorism.
He also pointed out that Boura led a group of “many dozens of combatants” within the ISGS in the area of Gober Boutou and Firo, in western Niger and has accused him of the murder of the six French citizens in the park of Kouré.
“It was part of the command that, by order of Abú Ualid al Saharaui, neutralized by the force ‘Barkhane’ in August 2021, coldly executed eight people, six French and their two Nigerien companions in the park of Kouré, southeast of Niamey ”.
Boura’s death comes after several senior ISGS officials in recent months, including Al Saharawi himself, who was the ’emir’ of the jihadist group. In June Dadi Ould Chaib, known as ‘Abu Dardar’, Sidi Ahmed Ould Mohamed, alias ‘Jataba al Mauritani’, were arrested.
In this operation, Almahmud ag Baye, alias’ Ikaray ‘, considered a senior ISGS official, died in July, while Isa al Saharaui, the group’s logistics coordinator and leader of ISGS in Mali, died in July, and Abu Abderahman al Saharaui,’ number two ‘of ISGS, as has been collected by the General Staff of the French Army.
The six Gallic victims worked for the NGO ACTED and were on vacation during a visit to the Kouré nature reserve. Along with them, the driver of the vehicle in which they were traveling and a guide, both of Nigerian nationality, also lost their lives. After that, the French antiterrorist prosecutor’s office announced the opening of an investigation into the murder, while Niger expanded the state of emergency in force in this area of the country.
The Tillabéri region is located in what is known as the ‘three border zone’, since it borders Burkina Faso and Mali. This region of the country has been particularly shaken by jihadist attacks in recent years.
On the other hand, the Diffa region, bathed by Lake Chad and located in the south of the African country, is the scene of attacks with relative frequency by Boko Haram and its split, the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA).
(with EP information)
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