BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — French forces fighting extremism in Africa's Sahel region say they have killed at least 20 jihadists in a forest on the border between Mali and Burkina Faso.
A statement Sunday from Operation Barkhane says soldiers also discovered large amounts of arms, ammunition, rocket launchers and explosives in the Foulsare forest.
A resident in a nearby village said planes dropped bombs in the area late Saturday and many jihadists fled by foot.
The Burkina Faso-Mali border region has been increasingly unstable. A group of extremists from Burkina Faso who are ethnic Peul have been launching attacks this year in the border region against Burkina Faso forces.
More than 3,500 French soldiers are in Mali, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania as part of Operation Barkhane.