Terrorists kill 17 soldiers in Mali
Authorities reported Wednesday that a complex weekend attack by suspected terrorists utilizing drones and artillery left at least 17 Malian troops dead and 17 more injured.
The assault is among the deadliest in Mali’s ten-year insurgency, which has extended from the country’s north to its center and south as well as into the neighboring nations of Burkina Faso and Niger.
Senior military authorities verified the authenticity of a document listing the victims for AFP, and the government later confirmed the death toll in a statement that stated that 22 soldiers had been hurt and 37 “terrorists” had been neutralized.
The incident happened on Sunday in Tessit, a town located in the volatile “three-border” region where the borders of the three countries meet.
The army reported that 17 troops and four civilians had perished on Monday.
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Some of the civilians were elected officials, according to relatives of the victims who requested anonymity.
In a statement released on Monday, the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS) was accused of using explosives and a truck carrying explosives, as well as deploying drones and artillery support.
In a series of attacks in the same area in late 2019 and early 2020, Mali’s armed forces last suffered such losses.
Nearly a dozen bases were attacked, mainly by extremely mobile fighters riding motorcycles, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of soldiers.
The Malian, Nigerien, and Burkinabe forces were forced by the raids to withdraw from their forward bases and take refuge in better fortified areas.
At a summit in the southwest French city of Pau in January 2020, France and its Sahel partners decided to launch an offensive against the ISGS.
Even though the group’s founder, Abu Walid Al-Sahraoui, and several of its commanders were executed, according to locals, the organization has persisted in recruiting new members and carrying out its operations.