France to send troops to North Africa
Paris: French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced that a new batch of 3,000 troops would be sent to North Africa where they will combat terror threats, a media report said Monday.
In partnership with five countries in North Africa`s Sahel-Sahara region, the counter terrorism operation will start in the coming days, Xinhua reported.
The operation will be accompanied by drones, helicopters and fighter jets, Le Drian said.
Le Drian said that French military offensive in northern Mali to help authorities to oust Islamist rebels had ended, adding it will be replaced by Barkhane mission, a regional operation to crack down on terrorists in the Sahel region.
"The president wanted a re-organisation of our troops in the Sahel zone as it is our security which is at stake," Le Drian said.
"The aim is to prevent jihadi groups between Libya and the Atlantic Ocean from rebuilding themselves, which would lead to serious consequences," he added.
France has been the target of terrorist groups` attack following its military commitment mainly in Afghanistan and Mali.
A total of 14 French nationals had been in hands of Al-Qaeda linked groups in the Sahel region.
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