Eight jihadists have been arrested in nothern Mali.
According to a Malian security official, the arrests were made by French forces in the Timbuktu region.
The official who spoke on condition of anonymity added that seven of the jihadists were arrested on Monday near Foum El Alba and identified themselves as fighters with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
While the eighth was arrested by the same patrol while on his motorcylce.
Such arrests in Mali’s north are frequent, with 600 suspected Islamist extremists detained since 2013 .
Mali’s restive north has been home to insurgent groups that have have caused killings and driven hundreds of people from their homes.
France intervened in Mali in 2013 to drive back Islamist groups that seized the desert north a year earlier and maintains a regional operation aimed at stamping out insurgents.