Mali

European Cocaine Trade Hit by Intervention in Mali

Smugglers looking for routes elsewhere in Africa

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France's surprise intervention against Islamist fighters involved in lucrative drug-running in northern Mali has disrupted cocaine supply to Europe, analysts have said.

The former colonial power sent fighter jets and troops two months ago to eliminate al Qaeda-linked groups controlling the north of the country and threatening to move south towards the capital.

The jihadist network in Mali has funded itself by taking foreign hostages, but also levying a tax on smugglers running drugs from Latin America to Europe.