Listen to article
A Malian jihadist suspected to be responsible for the kidnapping and death of two French journalists in 2013, has been killed by French soldiers, Defence Minister Florence Parly has confirmed.
Parly explained that French forces in the Sahel region killed ‘four terrorists’ during an operation in northern Mali on June 5, including Bayes Ag Bakabo, the prime suspect in the deaths of RFI radio reporters who were identified as Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon.
‘His neutralisation means the end of a long wait,’ Parly said, adding that Bakabo was in the village of Aguelhok and was preparing an attack against UN peacekeeping forces when he was killed.
Dupont and Verlon, both in their 50s and veteran journalists, were seized in the flashpoint northern Malian town of Kidal in November 2013 after interviewing a separatist Tuareg leader.
Their bullet-riddled bodies were found a few hours later, with the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) group claiming the killings as revenge for France’s decision to intervene against jihadist groups in the country earlier that year.
Africa Today News, New York gathered that a French investigation concluded that Bakabo, also a known drug trafficker, drove the pick-up truck used to kidnap the two journalists.
Parly expressed her ‘thoughts for the family and loved ones of Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon’.
The exact circumstances of their deaths have never been revealed, and relatives charge that military secrecy has hampered efforts towards that end.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK