France Kills ISIS Militant Linked to Niger Giraffe Park Attack

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French Barkhane force soldiers in the Sahel leave their base in Gao, Mali
In this Wednesday June 9, 2021 file photo, French Barkhane force soldiers who wrapped up a four-month tour of duty in the Sahel leave their base in Gao, Mali. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)

PARIS — The French army says it has “neutralized” a regional Islamic State group leader wanted in connection with the killing of seven aid workers, mostly French citizens, and a leading guide in a Niger giraffe park in August 2020.

France’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday that, in cooperation with Nigerien authorities, operatives from France’s anti-insurgent force Operation Barkhane struck Soumana Boura, an Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) leader, in a fatal airstrike.

The force located him in a ISGS sanctuary north of the town of Tillaberi, identifying his body following the operation.

France claims Boura was among the perpetrators of the attack that occurred Aug. 9, 2020, in Kouré Park, Niger.

The victims had been on a day of sightseeing Sunday when they were attacked just before noon, according to one of the aid groups they worked for, Paris-based NGO ACTED. An ambulance sent by the French military stationed in Niger found the bodies later in the day in their burned-out vehicle in the giraffe reserve, the group said.

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