The Islamic State on Saturday claimed accountability for a devastating raid that killed 49 Malian troops in addition to a blast that led to the loss of life of a French soldier who grew to become the most recent casualty within the conflict-torn area.
The strikes underscored the fragility of an space straddling a number of West African international locations battling rising jihadist violence that has claimed lots of of lives.
Friday’s assault on a Malian army outpost at Indelimane within the jap Menaka area close to Niger killed 49 troopers, wounded three and left 20 survivors, the Malian Armed Forces (FAMa) stated Saturday.
“Soldiers of the caliphate attacked a military base where elements of the apostate Malian army were stationed in the village of Indelimane,” the IS stated in a press release on its social media channels.
On Saturday, French corporal Ronan Pointeau, 24, died after an armoured car by which he was travelling hit an improvised explosive machine (IED) close to town of Menaka, a French defence ministry assertion stated.
The IS late Saturday additionally claimed accountability for that, saying its fighters had “detonated an explosive device on a French army convoy in the Indelimane area”.
Pointeau and his colleagues have been escorting a convoy between the cities of Gao and Menaka.
“This insidious attack shows the importance and bitterness of the fight against armed terrorist groups” within the border area straddling Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, the French defence ministry stated.
French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly stated she can be “visiting Mali very soon to hold discussions with Malian authorities.”
President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to Pointeau and expressed solidarity with the French and African troops combating within the area.
The Malian authorities initially stated 53 individuals died in what it described as a “terrorist attack” at Indelimane.
An military officer stated troops arrived on the outpost round 5:00 pm on Friday and “took again management of our positions.
“The terrorists carried out a surprise attack at lunchtime. Army vehicles were destroyed, others taken away,” he advised AFP.
The assaults got here a month after two jihadist assaults killed 40 troopers close to the border with Burkina Faso. Several sources have stated the actual loss of life toll was larger.
MINUSMA, the UN mission in Mali, condemned the raid and stated its peacekeepers have been serving to Malian troops safe the area.
– ‘We can resist’ –
“This bloodshed that Mali has been living through cannot go on,” imam Mahamound Dicko, an influential non secular chief in Mali, stated.
“Do you want us to resign ourselves to this suffering? We can resist,” he added.
Rights activist Alioune Tine, from Mali’s western neighbour Senegal, known as for motion throughout Africa to sort out the menace.
“If Africa does not mobilise for Mali and Burkina (Faso), it won’t be spared the bushfire that is quickly catching West Africa’s coastal countries, the next chosen targets” of the jihadists, he stated.
The violence has additionally spilled over into Burkina Faso and Niger the place extremists have exploited present inter-communal strife, leaving lots of useless.
In Mali, the assaults have unfold from the arid north to its centre, an ethnically combined and explosive area.
The current assaults are a humiliation for the so-called G5 Sahel drive — a much-trumpeted initiative below which 5 international locations created a joint 5,000-man anti-terror drive — and for former colonial ruler France, which helps to carry safety to the delicate area.
Northern Mali got here below the management of Al-Qaeda linked jihadists after Mali’s military didn’t quash a rebel there in 2012.
A French-led army marketing campaign was launched towards the jihadists, pushing them again a yr later.
But the jihadists have regrouped and widened their hit-and-run raids and landmine assaults to central and southern Mali.