Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:46AM
A French soldier in Mali. (File photo)
A French soldier in Mali. (File photo)

French soldiers have killed nearly a dozen Muslim fighters in a military operation in northern Mali.

Malian security sources said the French military operation was conducted north of the desert region of Timbuktu on Friday.

“The French military operation in the Timbuktu region is completed… A French soldier was wounded but his life is not in danger,” said an unnamed official from France’s Operation Serval military mission in Mali, AFP reported.

Two explosions were also reported in the small town of Kidal late Friday. One of the blasts was heard near a Malian military base and the other near the regional office of the state broadcaster.

On Thursday, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France’s military would keep 1,000 soldiers in Mali, reducing the number of French forces in the African country.

There has been a rise in attacks since France launched a war on Mali on January 11, 2013 under the pretext of halting the advance of rebel fighters in the country.

Chaos broke out in the West African country after Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure was toppled in a military coup on March 22, 2012. The coup leaders said they mounted the coup in response to what they said was the government’s inability to contain the Tuareg rebellion in the north, which had been going on for two months.