Two armed terrorists have been taken down by British troops during a gun battle in west Africa.
A British contingent of troops supporting a UN peacekeeping mission in Mali has killed two armed terrorists after coming under small arms fire while travelling from Gao to Ménaka on a security patrol operation.
There were no casualties among British troops or UN peacekeepers.
Following the exchange, British personnel searched the area, finding a cache of weapons, which included an AK-47, a machine gun, 100 rounds of ammunition and a radio.
This was the first time British troops have come under fire in the west African nation.
“This is an important reminder that as we broaden the focus of Defence to state-based threats in new domains like cyber and space, we still rely on our Armed Forces to apply lethal forces in close contact with our enemies,” Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey said.
“No matter how much technology we invest in, it all comes to naught without the bravery and determination of our Armed Forces.”
A number of terrorist groups, including the so-called Islamic State of the Greater Sahel (ISGS), are reportedly operating in Mali.
The UN mission aims to deter and disrupt terrorist activity in the region, supported by UK troops deployed on Operation MAKARA 3 — an operation to stabilise population areas around Menaka and deter or disrupt terrorist groups while protecting and reassuring the local population.
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