French troops in an anti-jihadist mission have killed 40 militants in Burkina Faso which was linked to deadly attacks this week in neighboring Benin, whose victims included a Frenchman, the army confirmed on Saturday.
The French-led Barkhane force in the Sahel region “engaged its air intelligence capacities to locate the armed group” responsible for the attacks, carrying out air strikes that killed 40 jihadists, the army’s general command said.
The Frenchman was among nine people killed this week in two attacks in the W National Park, which is a wildlife reserve in Benin’s remote north bordering troubled Niger and Burkina Faso.
One patrol was trying to locate poachers and another hit two roadside bombs on Tuesday, killing five park rangers, one park official, one soldier and a French trainer, according to the Beninese government. Two days later, a third patrol hit an explosive, killing another park official.
The toll was the deadliest in recent attacks Benin has suffered as coastal West African states face spillover from nearby Sahel countries battling jihadists.
France said on Thursday it had opened an investigation as a 50-year-old citizen was among those killed in a ‘terrorist attack’ in the park. African Parks, the organization who are running the reserve, said the Frenchman had been a “chief law enforcement instructor” there.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: THE DEFENSE POST