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The main suspect in the kidnapping and murder of RFI journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, in 2013, was killed on Saturday June 5 by a French strike in northern Mali, according to several local sources. The information was confirmed by the Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly.
The number one suspect in the kidnapping and assassination of RFI journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon in 2013 was killed on Saturday, June 5, by a French strike about 10 kilometers from Aguelhok, in northern Mali. Several local sources confirmed to Wassim Nasr, a specialist in jihadist movements at France 24, the death of Baye Ag Bakabo.
Originally from the Adrar des Ifoghas, Baye Ag Bakabo was at the crossroads of trafficking and jihadist circles in Mali. His responsibility for the kidnapping had been established by the use of his personal vehicle, as well as by several phone calls made to officials of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqmi).
The Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, confirmed on Friday June 11 in a press release the death of “Baye ag Bakabo, AQIM executive and responsible for the kidnapping of our fellow citizens” Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, as well as three other jihadists in this French strike.
“Its neutralization puts an end to a long wait,” commented the minister, addressing her “thoughts to the families and relatives of Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon”.
On November 2, 2013, the two French journalists from Radio France internationale (RFI) were kidnapped during a report and then killed near Kidal, a few months after the French operation Serval intended to prevent an armed column of jihadists from seizing from Bamako. Their bodies were found less than two hours later, a dozen kilometers away. On November 6, Aqmi claimed responsibility for their assassination.
The result of this operation “illustrates one of France’s main priorities in the Sahel: to bring down the main leaders of the terrorist groups that are rampant in the region, the RVIM [Rassemblement pour la victoire de l’islam et des musulmans, NDLR] linked to Al-Qaeda, and EIGS [État islamique au Grand Sahara, NDLR] linked to Daesh “, underlined the minister.
While President Emmanuel Macron announced on Thursday the imminent end of the French anti-terrorism operation Barkhane in the Sahel, for the benefit of a lighter international support and combat support system for local troops, “the objective remains: France remains committed against international terrorism, alongside Sahelian countries, and for the security of Europe and the French, “concluded Florence Parly.