ISIS terror strikes: Militant group claims responsibility for massacre in Mali – 33 dead | World | News


France 24 journalist Wassim Nasir tweeted: “#Mali the #EI claims the attack on #Tessit#Ansongo “33 dead” in the area of the three borders.” The attack, which happend on March 15, involved 100 suspected Islamic extremists on motorcycles which ambushed the Malian military convoy in the country’s volatile north, killing at least 33 people in the deadliest attack since the overthrow of the country’s president in a coup last year.

Fourteen other people were hurt in the attack near the town, which is about 37 miles southeast of Ansongo in the Gao region, according to a military statement.

Up to now no group had claimed it carried out the attack, but Islamic extremists with links to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group operate in the region.

Islamic State said in a statement that its fighters captured three vehicles as well as weapons and ammunition, according to SITE.

 

The group has claimed responsibility for previous attacks on either side of the border that have killed dozens of Malian and Nigerien soldiers.

It also carried out the 2017 ambush in the Nigerien village of Tongo Tongo that killed four American special forces troops and five Nigerien soldiers.

Earlier this week Mali’s military said that the UN peacekeeping mission referred to as MINUSMA had helped evacuate injured soldiers.

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They have expanded their operations well into the country’s intertior, inflamin tensions between ethnic groups in the area.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita was forced from office in August August after his home was surrounded by soldiers who then fired their guns into the air.

Facing international pressure, the junta that seized power then appointed a civilian-led government tasked with leading the country through an 18-month transition to new elections.

Mr Nasr subsequently tweeted: “This puts an end to the one-year “containment” parenthesis imposed by the surge.#Barkhane (period between the Pau – N’Djaména meetings) & the conflict between #JNIM /#AQMI -#EI.”

Speaking last month, French President Emmanuel Macron ruled out any immediately scaling-back of France’s 5,100-strong Barkhane forces.

He told reporters in Paris: “Changes that are likely to be significant will be made to our military deployment in the Sahel when the time comes, but they will not be made immediately.

“They will result first of all from a collective discussion with our Sahel partners and with the partners who have accepted to help us, and they will be based on the results obtained and the degree of engagement from our partners.”

He added: “In the coming months, we will not change our presence.

“We will launch other important operations, and we will above all be reinforced by the Chadian battalion, by the Malian mobilisation, and by contributions from Mauritania,”

(More to follow)





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