Nine Malian soldiers killed in suspected militant attack

Nine Malian soldeiers were killed on Wednesday in Mali’s troubled central region when their camp came under attack from Jihadists, security sources said.

The source who spoke on condition of anonymity due to safety and security risks, indicated that position at Boni, which is located between Hombori and Douentza in the Mopti region, was attacked by “heavily armed individuals in armored vehicles”. 

Several soldiers were injured, the source stated, an account which was confirmed by another security official and a local government official. 

Initial toll gave the number of dead soldiers as four, with ten injured and two out of the ten injured were seriously injured.

The source also indicated the camp had been damaged while the assailants had made away with a lot of equipment. 

The attack is the latest in a conflict that had been ongoing in Mali since 2012, when militants overtook a rebellion by mostly Tuareg separatists in the North.

Jihadists attacks in central Mali mostly involve improvised explosives, roadside bombs, or hit and run raids in pickups or motorbikes,, the use of armored vehicles, if confirmed, is very rare. 

Heni Nsaiba, a researcher with an NGO called “The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data (ACLED), said that the Jihadists had seized armored vehicles from armed forces in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.

The Malian army posted on social media that it had received air support from France’s anti-jihadist Barkhane mission in Sahel. Meanwhile, a Malian military official said that the assailants had suffered “major casualties” but did not give any further details.

 


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