French citizen among jihadists captured in Mali

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The man, who was fighting with the insurgents when captured by French troops, is likely to be repatriated to France to face terrorism charges.

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A French citizen was among five Islamist fighters who surrendered last week to French troops fighting to secure northern Mali, reports France 24.

Named only as Djamel, the 37-year-old, described as having a shaved head and long beard, was born in Algeria and became a naturalised French citizen through marriage.

He had been living in Grenoble in southeastern France, the city where his latest French passport had been issued.

According to security services quoted by French news radio Europe 1, he surrendered on Tuesday March 5 with five other fighters in the Ifoghas Mountains in the far north of Mali where fierce fighting is taking place.

He was handed over to Malian security forces on Friday, although it is likely he will be extradited to France to face terrorism charges.

His capture coincided with a visit by French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to northern Mali to meet French troops serving there.

Le Drian also held meetings with officials in the capital Bamako.

According to Europe 1’s sources, on the agenda were protocols on the status of foreign fighters captured as part of the French-led operation.

Read more of this report from France 24.

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