British troops 'in car chase with terror suspects before killing them in shootout'

21 October 2021, 22:51 | Updated: 22 October 2021, 00:45

British troops pursued suspected militants before killing them at close range
British troops pursued suspected militants before killing them at close range. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

British soldiers got into a car chase with armed suspected terrorists before gunning them down in Mali.

The firefight in the embattled West African state broke out after a patrol came under attack from two people armed with weapons, the UN said.

Troops are in the country to support the peacekeeping mission there, embarking on long range reconnaissance.

The Times reports they saw two men on a motorbike and gave chase in Jackal reconnaissance vehicles before the suspected terrorists crashed and ran, carrying a machine gun and rifle as the soldiers followed on foot.

They then killed the men after getting into an intense fight at just a 10 metre distance.

Read more: Soldier, 23, who died during Salisbury army exercise is named

The soldiers, who had been travelling from the city of Gao to Menaka when they were attacked, searched the area and found a cache of weapons, including an AK47, a machine gun, 100 rounds of ammunition and a radio.

"The UN peacekeepers vigorously retaliated, neutralising the two individuals," a UN spokesman said.

British soldiers are taking part in Operation Makara 3, an effort aimed at stabilising places around Menaka and to deter or disrupt terror groups.

Extremists include the Islamic State of the Greater Sahel.

Armed forces minister James Heappey said: "This is an important reminder that as we broaden the focus of defence to state-based threats in new domains like cyber and space, we still rely on our armed forces to apply lethal forces in close contact with our enemies."