Malian Al-Qaeda Affiliate Claims Attack on Main Army Base

The Katiba Macina, a Malian armed group affiliated with al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility on Saturday for the deadly attack on the main army base near the capital of Mali on Friday.

According to the media unit for al-Qaeda’s local affiliate, Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen (JNIM), its Katiba Macina branch carried out the attack based on the translation of the SITE Intelligence Group.

Katiba Macina is one of the many armed member groups of JNIM, the armed alliance in the Sahel region whose influence continues to expand and operate on the ground in Mali and Burkina Faso.

The Malian military said the attack on Friday killed at least one soldier and seven assailants and wounded six soldiers.

The military also said they arrested eight of the assailants.

According to reports, JNIM claimed a Malian group member detonated a car bomb at the gate of the army base, and another member from Burkina Faso detonated a second car bomb inside the base allowing additional fighters to enter the camp.

JNIM justified the attack by citing the presence of hundreds of Russian mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner Group in Mali, which supported the Malian military.

Human rights groups and locals accused the Russian mercenaries of participating in massacres of civilians.

Reports said JNIM also claimed responsibility for attacks on Thursday in five central and southern Mali towns, which the Malian military said killed one soldier and wounded 15 others.

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