27 January 2018

Mali Soldiers in Deadly Clash With Militants

Photo: IRIN
Government soldiers in Mali.

Al-Qaida-linked militants launched a strike on a military base in the north of the country. The UN Security Council warned that time is short for the government to show tangible results in combating the violence.

At least 14 soldiers were killed and another 18 wounded in Mali after suspected terrorists attacked an army base on Saturday.

Mali's security situation has steadily deteriorated in recent years amid increased activity by al-Qaida-linked jihadis in the country.

"The Malian armed forces were attacked early this morning, around 4 a.m., in Soumpi (Timbuktu region). We have recorded 14 dead, 18 wounded and material damage," a statement from the military posted on social media said.

Army spokesman Col. Diarran Kone confirmed the attack, and the army said it was back in charge of the camp Saturday afternoon.

"The Malian army is back in control of the camp. Two terrorists have been killed," the source said, adding other attackers were being "pursued."

A military source in Bamako said the soldiers were killed "during a cowardly terrorist attack on the Soumpi camp."

Saturday's attack, in conjunction with another deadly assault on Thursday, prompted President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to cancel his trip to an African Union summit meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Two days ago, 26 civilians including mothers and babies were killed when their vehicle struck a landmine in Boni, central Mali, according to the United Nations.

The UN Security Council, referring to Thursday's attack, said it "condemned in the strongest terms the barbaric and cowardly terrorist attack."

bik, es/sms (AFP, AP, Reuters)


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