The armed forces have declared the “neutralization” of a significant leader of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS). Harouna Oulel, also known as Abdel-Malick, held the position of the second-in-command of ISGS in the country. He was killed during an operation in the Sahel region on January 21, along with several of his lieutenants. His neutralization is seen as a significant step in the fight against terrorism and the reclaiming of areas under jihadist control, particularly in northern Burkina Faso, according to the official news agency.
On January 21, 2024, Harouna Oulel, alias Abdel Malick, the second-in-command of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) in Burkina Faso, left the “three borders” area for Markoye in the Sahel region in a pickup truck. The official Burkinabe news agency provides details of the operation. Escorted by other terrorist fighters on motorcycles, the convoy of the ISGS leader was spotted by Burkinabe Air Force aircraft.
The convoy was bombed from the air while it was at a standstill under bushes. Ground soldiers reported that five terrorists, including Abdel Malick, were killed. Motorcycles and weaponry were also destroyed.
Specialized in attacking military convoys and kidnappings, Harouna Oulel, alias Abdel Mallick, had been involved in multiple attacks against the defense and security forces in Burkina Faso since 2019, according to security sources. He was also involved in training recruits in weapon handling, as reported by the official news agency. A bounty of 150 million CFA francs had been placed on his head.