French soldiers killed about 20 Islamic combatants in northern Mali last week in an operation to defend France’s troops there, the defence ministry in Paris said.
A ministry statement said the army deployed warplanes and attack helicopters in the operation last Tuesday.
“About 20 terrorists were taken out and following searches the army has seized individual and collective weapons,” the ministry said.
France intervened in 2013 to drive out al Qaeda-linked militants who seized northern Mali the year before. It has since deployed more than 4,500 soldiers, known as the Barkhane force, across the region to hunt down Islamists.