‘Dead’ Mali jihadist Amadou Koufa reappears in video

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A French soldiers stands guard in an armoured vehicle as a helicopter leave a position in Mali. File photoImage copyright
Reuters

Image caption

French troops helped the Malian army to push back jihadists from northern Mali in 2013

A senior jihadist leader in Mali has reappeared in a video, months after the authorities said he had been killed.

The death of Amadou Koufa was widely reported, after a raid by French forces in November.

The video, in which Mr Koufa mocks the reports of his death, has been verified by Site, a US-based monitoring group.

French forces intervened in Mali in 2013, pushing back jihadists who had seized swathes of territory. However, the militants remain a threat.

Parts of the country are still out of the government’s control.

After the November raid, a Malian army spokesman and the French defence minister “confirmed” the death of Mr Koufa, a senior member of Mali’s most powerful jihadist group, JNIM,

Now a 19-minute video being circulated in Mali shows Amadou Koufa, in a white turban, mocking the French and Malian military forces.

A French military spokesman said the authorities there were in the process of authenticating the video.

Mr Koufa is described as a senior member of the Jamaat Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) group that has carried out frequent attacks in Mali and neighbouring Burkina Faso.

He is a preacher as well as a jihadist leader.

France, the former colonial power, has thousands of troops in the volatile region to stem the insurgency.

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Mr Koufa was reported to have been killed in the central Mopti area, north of the capital Bamako



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