Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Coordinated extremist attacks kill 14 Malian soldiers

BAMAKO, Mali ( Associated Press) – Coordinated attacks by Islamic extremists have killed 14 soldiers and wounded about a dozen, Mali’s army said.

Colonel Souleymane Dembele, the army’s director of public relations, said in a statement on Wednesday that several IED explosions occurred in the towns of Dia and Diafarabe, as well as between Koumara and Macina in the center of the country.

Dembele said that during the attacks, which took place earlier in the week, Malian forces killed more than 30 “terrorists”.

The West African nation has been plagued by violence linked to extremist groups Al Qaeda and Islamic State for a decade. During this thousands of people have lost their lives.

The country’s ruling military junta, which seized power in two coups since 2020, has been struggling to push back the jihadists, especially since the withdrawal of French troops in August, over strained relations with the new government . France has had a presence in the region since 2013, when it sent troops to Mali to contain extremists besieging the capital Bamako, but the radicals have since regrouped.

Since December 2021, the junta has been staffed with Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group, who have also failed to stop the violence. In August, 42 soldiers were killed in an attack on their barracks.

“Extremist groups continue to wreak havoc in the Sahelian region, despite employing mercenaries to stem the escalation of violence. It’s clearly not working,” said Laith Alkhoury, managing director of Intelonix Intelligence Advisory, which provides intelligence Provides analysis.

“The high body count underscores a relentless effort by extremist groups to undermine any remaining resolve of Malian troops. If there are more such attacks, the board will have to resort to additional security help.

Nation World News Desk
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