In Mali, three coordinated attacks left at least 18 dead, including 3 civilians

At least 15 Malian soldiers and three civilians were killed on Wednesday in three coordinated attacks attributed to “terrorists” in Mali.

In Kalumba, near the Mauritanian border, “the balance sheet on the friendly side is 12 dead, including three civilians from a road construction company”, according to a press release signed by Colonel Souleymane Dembélé, director of information and relations army public.

In Sokolo, in the center, the army reports six soldiers dead and 25 injured, five of them seriously. The army claims to have killed 48 assailants and “neutralized three terrorist pick-ups 15 km from Sokolo with occupants estimated at around fifteen combatants and their equipment”, is it written.

A third attack took place overnight in Mopti, without causing any casualties, according to the same source. The army claims to have “routed” the attackers.

Read also: In Mali, the failure of the military to stop the cycle of violence

Several similar attacks have taken place in recent days

These attacks come five days after that of Kati, at the heart of the Malian military apparatus, claimed by the jihadists of the Katiba Macina, affiliated with the terrorist group Al-Qaeda. This suicide attack committed with two truck bombs had killed a Malian soldier and injured six, including a civilian.

The day before, a series of almost simultaneous raids attributed to jihadists had hit six different localities in Mali, in the regions of Koulikoro (near Bamako) as well as Ségou and Mopti (center). Armed men identified by the army as members of the Katiba Macina had attacked checkpoints, a gendarmerie and a military camp, in particular in the locality of Kolokani, about a hundred kilometers north of Bamako.

It is the first time since 2012 that such coordinated attacks have taken place in such large numbers, including some close to the capital. Mali, a landlocked country in the heart of the Sahel, was the scene of two military coups in August 2020 and May 2021.

Despite a very degraded security situation, the junta has turned away from France and its partners, preferring to rely on Russia to try to stem the Islamist spread, which has won a large part of the country as well as Burkina. Faso and neighboring Niger.

Read the op-ed: Violent dreams in Mali

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