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The commander of a French anti-extremist force in Africa's northern Sahel says Islamist insurgents are hitting soft targets elsewhere after losing the initiative in the region.Brethous cited a March 13 attack – claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb – in Ivory Coast's Grand-Bassam beach resort that killed 19 as an example.Other recent attacks out of Operation Barkhane's range include another AQIM-claimed attack, the November 2015 raid on the Radisson Blu in the Malian capital Bamako that left 20 people dead, including 14 foreigners.Three French soldiers were killed in northern Mali on April 12 when their vehicle struck a mine, bringing to seven the number of men killed among the ground and air forces deployed since August 2014, according to France's defense ministry.
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