On Saturday, June 6, French Defense Minister Florence Parly announced that security forces had killed Abdelmalek Droukdel, leader of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in an operation in the northern region of Mali near the Algerian border. Other associates of Droukdel, known to have been involved in organizing affiliated jihadist groups across the region, were also reportedly killed in the operation in the town of Tessalit (Kidal Region) on Wednesday, June 3. Parly also announced the capture of another senior Islamic State group commander in a separate operation in May.
Due to the presence of various armed groups, Mali's northern and central regions remain unstable despite a French-led intervention launched in 2013 that drove many extremists from their strongholds.
The security environment in Mali remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
Due to the underlying terrorist and kidnapping threats prevalent in the country, all those present in Mali are advised to remain discreet regarding personal details, particularly information concerning nationality, employment, family, etc. Individuals are also advised to avoid public events and places frequented by Westerners, to remain vigilant at all times (especially in local markets, now used by terrorists as recruitment grounds), and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities.
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