French airstrike kills civilians in Mali.
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The French military announced that on March 25, 2021 the air force conducted an airstrike on Islamic militants 37 miles north of Deliman, Mali. The statement was released on Thursday night,
On 25 March 2021, in the late morning, the Barkhane force carried out a strike neutralizing an armed terrorist group 60 km [37 miles] north of In Deliman. This strike was ordered after a phase of surveillance and identification permitting the characterization of the presence of an armed terrorist group.French Military Official
On further investigation of the deadly attack conducted by the French military, Malian officials found out that the attack did not target and kill terrorists as they claimed but actually killed six young men aged between 15-20 who were hunting birds together with one weapon being shared together. This follows a previous airstrike conducted by the French military back in January, where civilians were also targeted near the village of Bounthi, when the missile hit a wedding party. French officials deny this, and instead claimed that 30 terrorists were killed in January’s attack. The latter is being investigated by the United Nations.
The French army has been carrying out airstrikes to eliminate the Islamic insurgency since 2014. The country has since a rise in the Islamic militants, mostly Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Their effort in trying to eliminate terrorists from Mali and neighbouring countries was initially received well by both Malian citizens and the French population, but after several years this has changed. The French population have been increasingly demanding the President Macron to withdraw all troops, but Macron ruled it out. Following the two allegations of airstrikes targeting civilians Macron’s effort to keep troops in Mali will be even harder.