BAMAKO (AA) – The Malian army has arrested three militants – without any recourse to violence – during a raid on Tirikent, an Arab village located 13km west of Timbuktu, a security source has said.
The army, he added, arrested the trio in cooperation with French forces who arrived at the scene aboard a military helicopter.
The three arrested militants reportedly include Yehia Abou Haman, a leading member of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
The identities of the other two militants, however, remain unclear.
The security source, who asked not to be named, said the arrests followed raids on militant strongholds in Essakana, a village located some 55km from Timbuktu, by French forces.
The raids ultimately led to the arrest of 11 militants and the torching of four pickup trucks.
There has been no official comment on the reported arrests by either the Malian government or militant groups active in northern Mali.
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