5 September 2016

Mali: President Fires Defence Minister After Gunmen Seize Village

Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has fired Defence Minister Tieman Hubert Coulibaly after suspected Islamist militants briefly seized the village of Boni in the centre of the country on Friday, state television said late on Saturday.

Coulibaly is being replaced by Abdoulaye Idrissa Maiga, a former minister for territorial administration, who was also the president's campaign director at the 2013 election.

The attackers, who are suspected of belonging to the Ansar Dine group, burned public buildings and took an elected local official hostage before withdrawing after a few hours. No one was killed and the army is back in control, witnesses said.

The raid was the latest in a series this year in Mali, reflecting a rise in the power of Islamist groups that have spread a campaign of violence from the north to the centre of the country only a few hundred miles from the capital Bamako.

Mali

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