Bamako - French forces in Mali say that they have killed about 10 extremists and recovered arms and explosives after heavy fighting in the country's north near Niger.
A statement from the French military on Wednesday said the forces also seized pick-up trucks and a dozen motorcycles after four hours of fighting with al-Mourabitoun extremists in Mali's northeastern Menaka region.
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The Islamic extremist group was the first to claim responsibility for the attack on the Radisson Blu hotel that killed 20 people. It said it had worked with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, saying it was their first joint operation.
A French-led operation pushed extremists from urban centers in northern Mali in 2013, but insecurity remains and extremists are launching attacks further south.