Gunmen kill at least 14 Mali soldiers in attack on army camp
West Africa’s arid Sahel region is suffering a spike in violence by militant groups, some with links to al Qaeda and Islamic State, that is drawing an increasingly aggressive response from countries including France and the United States, APA reports quoting Reuters.
A group of around 30 heavily armed fighters attacked the military camp in Soumpi, located in the center of the country near the southern boundary of Mali’s Timbuktu region, according to an army statement read on state radio.
It said 14 soldiers were killed and 15 others were wounded, adding that 17 of the attackers had been killed in the battle.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
“The soldiers abandoned their position. The enemy carried away material,” said one army officer, who said the camp had been overrun and asked not to be named as they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Islamist fighters seized control of Mali’s northern desert regions in 2012 before being driven back by a French-led intervention a year later.
But despite the presence of a U.N. peacekeeping mission and troops operating under a regional French anti-militant mission, violence is again on the rise and attacks are spreading further south toward the capital, Bamako.
“These barbaric attacks will not scare us. On the contrary, they reinforce our determination to fight against the terrorists,” President Keita said, speaking in the central Mali village of Boni where 26 people were killed on Thursday.
Those victims were traveling from neighboring Burkina Faso in a civilian passenger vehicle when it struck a landmine.
In a separate incident on the same day in the nearby town of Youwarou, the Malian military said its forces repelled an attack by suspected Islamist fighters.
Mali and its western neighbor Senegal plan to deploy 1,000 troops soon in an operation to pacify central Mali and contain jihadists who had previously been confined to its Saharan expanses in the north.
But analysts doubt they will be able to do so purely through military means. The Islamists exploit the grievances of Fulani cattle herders and their disputes with local farmers over access to grazing lands.
The government’s periodic crackdowns on suspected jihadists have therefore tended to target the Fulani, driving some of them into the arms of the armed groups.
Related news releases
- 23.02.2018Double car blasts in Somalia kill at least 18 - UPDATED
- 22.02.2018More than 90 Nigerian schoolgirls missing after Boko Haram attack: sources
- 21.02.2018Mali: 2 French soldiers killed in attack
- 20.02.2018More than 300 migrants intercepted in boats off Libya: coastguard
- 17.02.2018Nigeria: 22 killed in multiple suicide bombings - UPDATED
- 17.02.2018Ethiopia government has lost authority, all parties must help guide reforms: opposition
- 17.02.2018Congo says six soldiers killed in clash with Rwandan army
- 17.02.2018Ethiopia declares state of emergency, martial law
- 15.02.2018South African parliament to elect new president today
- 15.02.2018Zuma quits, ending scandal-plagued term as South African president
- 14.02.2018Sudan, S. Sudan resume cross-border trade after 7 years
- 14.02.2018At least 19 migrants killed in Libya car crash
- 14.02.201822 Nigerian students killed in road mishap
- 11.02.2018Over 10 Nigerian hostages rescued from suspected Boko Haram terrorists
- 10.02.2018Bombing at mosque in Libya's Benghazi kills two, wounds 75: medics
- 07.02.2018Tunisian soldier killed in helicopter crash
- 06.02.2018At least 30 dead in ethnic violence in northeast Congo
- 04.02.2018Russian MP warns new US nuclear doctrine heightens arms race risk
- 23.01.2018Egyptian army arrests former chief of staff over presidential bid
- 23.01.2018Morocco's king appoints five new ministers
- 23.01.2018Former football player sworn in as Liberia's president
- 19.01.2018Libyan forces launch operation against militants
- 19.01.2018Zimbabwe opposition leader Roy Bennett killed in U.S. helicopter crash
- 18.01.2018Egypt appoints new intelligence chief
- 17.01.2018Kidnappers abduct American, Canadian in Nigeria, two police killed: police official
- 17.01.2018Suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers kill 12
- 16.01.2018At least 20 dead as clashes shut airport in Libyan capital
- 15.01.2018Clashes in Tripoli kill 11, closes airport - UPDATED
- 11.01.2018Tunisian police clash with protesters in at least five towns
- 10.01.2018Tunisian police fire tear gas on protesters storming Carrefour market in Tunis
- 09.01.2018Madagascar cyclone kills 29, displaces thousands
- 09.01.2018Tunisian protester killed in clashes with police
- 09.01.2018Nigeria fighter jet crashes in anti-Boko Haram mission
- 07.01.2018Gunmen kill 13 in Senegal's Casamance region
- 06.01.2018Sudan closes border with Eritrea
- 06.01.2018Clashes break out near South Sudan capital in truce violation
- 05.01.20182 killed in armed confrontation on Libya-Tunisia border
- 04.01.2018George Weah certified as Liberia’s new president
- 04.01.2018Egypt detains 75 people in human trafficking probe
- 04.01.2018Roadside bomb kills police officer in Egypt's Sinai
- 31.01.2018Sochi talks end, constitutional committee to be formed
- 01.02.20185 dead, 39 injured in multiple explosions in Nigeria
- 04.02.2018Miners' protest raises political temperature in Morocco
- 28.01.2018Africa most affected by food insecurity, says UN chief
- 25.01.2018Nigeria confirms 16 dead in Lassa fever outbreak
- 24.01.2018At least 27 dead in twin Benghazi car bombs