TE24 International Desk:
BAMAKO – At least four soldiers, two civilians and five attackers were killed in Sunday’s attack on the strategic border between Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, the Malian army said.
In a statement late Sunday, the military condemned the attack as “terrorist” and used a term commonly used to describe militants. It said its forces repelled ISGS attacks.
The military death toll could be “much higher,” said the elected official, who spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons. The two civilians killed were local elected officials. Their families said they were loyal officers. Tacit is on the Malian side of the so-called border triangle, in a vast gold-rich area beyond state control.
Armed groups affiliated with the al-Qaeda-linked extremist Jamaat Nasr al-Islam wal Muslim (JNIM) are fighting ISGS there. Malian forces, who maintain a military camp near the town of Tessit, frequently attack the area.
UN peacekeepers were also stationed there, as well as French troops from Operation Balkan until a few months ago. Thousands of residents have fled the area, many to the town of Gao, about 150 kilometers away. The Tessit region, like the entire so-called tri-national region, becomes more isolated during the wet season when heavy rainfall impedes traffic.
Another attack on Sunday morning killed five of its police officers in Zona in Mali’s southern Kutira region near the Burkina Faso border. On Friday, the suspects killed about a dozen civilians in central Mali and planted explosives in the bodies of dead civilians who were picking up relatives.
Mali is struggling with a long militant insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and forced hundreds of thousands from their homes. Violence that began in the north has spread to the center and south of the country, as well as to neighboring Burkina Faso and Niger.
Leave a Reply