France has deployed about 4,000 soldiers in the region
France 24: French forces kill militants near Mali-Burkina Faso border
French soldiers killed more than 20 militants hiding in a forest near the border between the West African countries of Mali and Burkina Faso this weekend, its regional force said in a statement.
The operation followed the death of a French soldier nearby earlier this month. It involved both air and ground strikes, the statement said, but failed to identify the militant group that was targeted.
The French forces may have also captured some of the militants alive, the AFP news agency reported citing an unnamed army official.
Mali has been regularly hit by Islamist militant violence, despite a 2013 French-led operation to drive them out of key northern cities they had seized.
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French forces kill militants in Mali forest -- BBC
France kills more than 20 militants on Mali, Burkina border -- Reuters
French forces kill 20 jihadists on Mali-Burkina Faso border -- AP
Mali extends state of emergency by 6 months -- News24
Returning from Mali, senior UN relief official spotlights country's complex challenges -- UN News Centre
Mali at the crossroads once more -- Martin Vengadesan, Daily Star