On Thursday, French military forces conducted an airstrike targeting a group of Islamic militants 37 miles north of Deliman. 

“On 25 March 2021, in the late morning, the Barkhane force carried out a strike neutralizing an armed terrorist group 60 km [37 miles] north of In Deliman,” the French military said in a statement Thursday night.

“This strike was ordered after a phase of surveillance and identification permitting the characterization of the presence of an armed terrorist group,” French military officials added.

However, several Malian officials have claimed that the airstrike did not target and kill terrorists but six civilian men aged 15-20, who were out hunting birds with only one weapon between them.